Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Skull Seeds

I was inspired by all the hubbub surrounding Shia LaBeouf's blatant theft of Dan Clowes' work to insert my own example of using another person's idea.  I saw an image of Vivienne Westwood's skull jewelry somewhere.  This one I borrowed from her website, sorry!


I kept seeing these chunky rainbow skull beads that are nothing like the sleek ones in the pic above.  I got some from the bead store and went bananas with them and the huge array of random glass and plastic beads, and came up with my own bracelets:

Mine are nothing like Vivienne's sleek design - I even like them a little better.  AND they're way cheaper...aw, who am I kidding?  If I won the lottery I'd fly to London and get one of everything at her store.  I'd wear one of her formal gowns and a tiara, walking down E Burnside.  Here's her website if you're like me: http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/shop

But I would never take one of her necklaces, change a couple beads, and stick my own label on it!  Shia, shame on you!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ranty Xmas, Everyone!



Hey all, I've got my Christmas deco up, looking sweet!  I'll put up some pictures later.  I'm saving it as a surprise for a party I'm throwing this weekend.  Yeah!!  I've got to put some lights in the windows though.  There's no point if there's no lights.

I found a sneery op-ed piece here decrying the having of holiday trees by folks who are childless (such as myself).  I'm pretty sure it's tongue in cheek, and there's a counterpoint addressing my own opinion, but it still made me mad!  I have three trees this year.  I like sparkly stuff dammit.  I like decorations and holidays period.  Any holiday.  I dress more or less like a human Christmas tree for any given occasion.  I'd love to have a least one kid someday.  Why should they have all the fun?  Wouldn't they want their mom to be living a rad, colorful life until the day they find themselves under my roof?  Well, that's going to be me, year round.  And I'm ratcheting it up for this most wonderful time of the year.
community britta gif

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mirror in the Bathroom

It's December and time to think about the things I'd like to get done before New Year's Eve.  What's on your list?  I made one while I was a little bored over Thanksgiving, and here's some stuff that needs to happen:
  1. Get brakes fixed
  2. Clean dryer hose
  3. See the Nutcracker ballet at last
  4. Have a holiday party
This is by no means all of it.  I keep adding to it too.

My office is still a shambles, but I did take some time to clean and redecorate the bathroom.  I hung my collection of wall-hanging faces above the toilet, just in time for the family to pay a visit.  They go so well with the head shots from Three Women, don't you think?
 I'm toying with placing things on the counter.  I don't know if I like it.  I just cleaned out the drawer so now I can stash my necessaries in there, and the surface isn't such a disaster. 
I like the theme that my wall art is assuming, even though it was quite unintentional.  Now I just need something to go over the door!

I found couple links on Buzzfeed.com that got my interest, and were totally relevant to my mission here.  These might be helpful for you too - who knew that Buzzfeed could be useful?
52 Meticulous Organizing Tips For The OCD Person In You

33 Meticulous Cleaning Tricks For The OCD Person Inside You

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chronicles of Redonk

It's hard to believe that this blog project started as me just clearing out my bad basement, and now it's led to all these other changes around the house, and my whole life really.  Getting your personal space under control is like increasing your mental health. 

My work room is still messy, not bad, but I think that's where my real attention is needed.  Not that I'm going to stop decorating in other rooms, but I'm going to make the office my priority.

I'm also making better cleaning a priority.  I'm not a good mopper, but I am a good sorter.  That's why my kitchen floor is so dusty.  I'm working on making things a little shinier as well as straightened.  Many people think these go hand in hand, but I'm a little slower to scrub and polish.  I've been consulting Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs to get hints on non-toxic homemade cleaners.  I need to get a refill on Dr. Bronner's soap.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Bleak House / Rad House

The Austere Before:
Yeah, those are prescription bottles on the coffee table, it's that dull in here.  I need to channel Neely O'Hara in this kind of atmosphere.  There wouldn't even be that secretary at right if it hadn't been too large for me to move after taking all the other furniture out of the way.  The word "neutral"  can be pejorative when used to describe the palette of this habitat.  

The Vibrant After:

I learned a valuable lesson about priming, which is to do it, which I didn't this time.  But I'm so pleased with how everything looks.  Even though it could stand to be touched up near the ceiling just a bit more.  Maybe no one will notice.

I didn't plan to move EVERYTHING in the room around, but I just about did.  Surprisingly, the stereo & record cabinet was the heaviest of all to move, even with all the stuff taken out of it.  I like a mix of antiques and modern furniture, as you can see.  I have to stop myself from completely re-organizing everything as I go along.  I'm just making it neat and clean for now.

I went buck wild at an estate sale a week ago and bought a bunch of milk glass & other goodies.  That was after I'd already been to another estate sale where everything was free on the upper floor.  I filled a small box with trinkets, like an adorable min vase with a flapper girl standing next to it.  So what if she only has one arm?  That's what fimo is for.

I started to watch Andrei Tarkovsky's film Solaris today.  It's so intense, and I've barely begun watching it!  It's making me want to watch Stalker again, by the same director. 

I also watched a short but powerful documentary about Dolores Hart, who left Hollywood as a young woman in the early 1960s to become a Benedictine nun in a cloistered monastery.  She played St. Clare in the Frances of Assisi movie, who also became a nun and founded the Poor Clares. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

Space Bags: Fact or Fantasy?

By now most of you have seen or heard of those plastic storage bags known as Space Bags, or some equivalent.  While they aren't pretty (and neither will you stuff be once it's stored in one), they do work and they're pretty easy to handle.  My mother put a bunch of pillows and blankets in some for me a couple years ago, and gave me extra bags to use just in case.  Last week I put a king-size down comforter in one, and the results were impressive:
Madonna CD added for scale purposes!
 It really is as simple as enclosing it in the bag and using a vacuum hose to slurp out all the air thru the little round door in the side.  I didn't think my vacuum cleaner would do a good job because the nozzle is wider than average but it all went to plan.  The hard part was making sure the zip lock at the opening was securely fastened all the way. 

This kind of bag is kind of nice to store away things in a pile on a shelf.  The bag shown here hasn't taken on any extra air, and neither have the ones my mom sorted out for me.
Don't use it to store your kid, dummy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

One! Whole! Year!!!

It's a day of celebration at the Fitzrovians' headquarters today.  This marks a year of blogging my house cleaning/organizing/decorating self-administered therapy.

 Don't get excited, this is from a few years ago.  But, it sure looks good.  I need to go to the store anyway tonight, hmmm....

A lot has happened in the last year.  I haven't spelled out everything in this blog for my own reasons, but I can say I have turned a corner and am happier than I have been in a long, long time.  I still miss Dylan so much, I lost my best friend when he died.  I am lucky to have so many people in my life who have kept me going and made me feel loved.

In spite of the difficulties of getting this place in order, it's been fun and rewarding.  It's not over yet either.  I'll still be charting my progress here, never fear!



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Housecraft Brakhage

Remember when I got on a high horse last time I posted and said what self-control I have?  Well, it was a load of shite.  I'm better than I was, and I am improving, but I sometimes think it's not so much that I have fewer things than my tastes are changing and I am just replacing them with other items.

Whenever I go to the Bay Area, which is about once every month or two, I make a point of visiting the thrift stores, and I head straight for the tchotchkes.  My personal favorite places to shop are the Alameda Museum's store and the Salvation Army, also in Alameda.  Their prices are so freaking good, I feel like that woman who blamed the casinos for enabling her gambling habit.  Fortunately I'm prone to frugality even when I'm going overboard.

I'm posting a few pieces from my last couple hauls:
This is a vase.  Or a candle holder.  I guess it's my call, but it doesn't really matter what it's supposed to be anyway because it combines just about everything I like in one figurine.  It's a 3" mouse in Laura Ingalls Wilder-wear, leaning against a tree trunk reading a book!  My kitchen is woodsy-camping themed and I almost never get to go camping.  Also, it's blazing lemon yellow, which I also adore.  The Timelords brought this from the 70s and put this in the  Salvation Army just for me.
Speaking of "just for me", this beautiful little pitcher was in the museum store the last time I visited Alameda back in June or so, and I was lucky enough to grab it on my August visit.
Frosty the Snowman was a green and grassy soul...
Most thrift store visits have a "WTF" moment, where you can't help but wonder how someone thought making and packaging a product was a good idea.  But then you're glad they did, because you find these types of things.  At first glance I thought it was a votive holder, which makes perfect sense.  On closer inspection I perceived it was a mini planter for grass.  Grass in the head of a snowman?  Wha?! 

You meet such lovely people in thrift stores too, like the woman who loudly accused my brother-in-law of following her from her car (we were all already inside the store when she showed up). She was later heard muttering something about the CIA as my sister and I looked at shoes.  Or the guy I heard in Better Bargains offering a staffer a check to hold while he "borrowed" a bunch of clothing so a friend could try it on at home. 





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Asylum Blackout

I was taking the above picture when the power went out all over the neighborhood.  I had a brainwave about doing a blog post on my many containers.  The examples above are only a drop in the bucket compared to what I have at my disposal.  Tackle boxes are really great for all kinds of things, especially if you ever plan to carry them to other places.  The clear plastic box on the right with the buttons and beads has dividers that can be adjusted.  I use something like this to sort out all of my nails, screws, and picture hanging stuff.  And of course, there's my personal favorite, the shoebox-sized clear container.  All of these stack really well and that's important in keeping shelves neat.

I can get carried away with sorting beads and buttons.  When I was little I loved to handle buttons and put them in their little drawers that my mom had for them, one of those hardware-sorting mini drawer sets.

So, after I shot a few pictures the lights went out completely.  For a moment I thought I'd blown a fuse even though I hadn't plugged in anything new.  I had to use the camera to light my way to where I knew I had a flashlight; that is, I took pictures with the flash until I got where I needed to be.  Thusly I ended up with a lot of pictures that looked like this:
I lit about a dozen candles around my apartment.  I wish I had some photos of how great that looked!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vaya con Dios

After faithful service for several years, I've turned this little storage unit loose to show the world what it's made of.  I found it a block from here and it was rusty then but it hasn't got much worse since I put it to use.  I placed it on the sidewalk a few days ago when I left for work, and it was gone when I got home. 
I guess it shows that I'm getting my crap under control in that I need fewer shelves, boxes and closets for things.  I'm not innocent of bringing home new things once in a while though, things I don't really need.  Now that it's summer, more and more people are placing free stuff on the sidewalk and I'm looking through it all when I see it!

Here's a few things I've hauled home this season:
  • an antique doily made of linen and handmade lace, slightly stained
  • a gold picture frame
  • a glass bowl (like a mini fishbowl) with a ruffled top edge
  • ceramic tiles
I could have brought home a shitload more but it's all about RESTRAINT with me these days.  I could have had a cast iron waffle maker, but do I make waffles at home?  No.  RESTRAINT.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tabling is my life

This is my table from the most recent Twilight Rummage Sale, that took place last Saturday night.  I did even better than the last time I was there!  I brought more stuff too.  I'm looking forward to the September edition of this event.  Look at all my cute signs!  I ended up leaving a few things on the "free" table at the end of the night.  I got a few awesome things from there too!  Glass bookends, a framed seashell shadowbox, and some crafty supplies.

Here's the rhinestone eagle I talked about before, it's way better than I could make it sound, right?!
This has been a super busy month of festival and sale related activity.  The Portland Zine Symposium was two weeks ago and the Projects art festival is happening this weekend.  SF Zine Fest is right around the corner too.  With my new work schedule, things are hectic!!


The Fulfilled Basement

I lied, but not intentionally, when I stated I'd get all kinds of things done before my trip a few weeks ago.  They are getting done though.  As you saw, my new bookcase is operational.  I took the one that had been in its place previously (with the help of friend Sean, thanks!!!) and put it downstairs in the basement.  Another friend, Daria, came and picked up the old wooden bookcase I didn't want to keep.  Awesome!  It's funny how the same amount of books on a different set of shelves looks so different.  Now it's time to compare and contrast again, just like we did in Language Arts:


The photo on the left is the best I have of that corner and the old bookcase, but you can see things look a little sunnier in the old basement.

I have Salvation Army coming this Saturday to pick up an upstairs bookcase.  A friend of mine who is moving overseas is giving me a beautiful large set of shelves that can go in my living room.  

The outside of my house is undergoing a transformation.  My landlord decided to tell me that they were going to tear off the siding of my house and replace it, but he waited until a few minutes before they started work.  It's been over a week now and the exterior is covered in Tyvek.  Not long to go now! 

I'm getting a night guard for my teeth.  After years of grinding them in my sleep I'm finally going to have some relief!  I'm getting the final fit on Monday.  Maybe I won't wake up with headaches anymore. 


Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Bookcase in Good Taste

This is what a perfectly executed vision looks like.  A vision in which the slighty shredded chipboard is concealed behind nail heads and laminated shelves:
Last night I told one of my friends that the back of this bookcase was "a bitch" to remove and put back on correctly.  I never use phrases like that, and I've built stuff from scratch.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Needs Improvement

Put together a new bookcase tonight, hammered the last nails in, and then placed it against the wall.  Then I noticed something wasn't right.  Can you guess what it is?
I'm going to pull out the nails and flip the back tomorrow.  At least I didn't have to use glue to attach it.  And I have plenty of extra nails if I mess up the ones from the package.

That's a scene from Modern Family on my laptop there, I was watching while I worked.  It strangely always reminds me of my own family even though none of the characters are much like any particular person I'm related to.

I'm doing way better than I have in over two years now.  My therapist thought I was doing so well that we agreed I could come for "as needed" sessions from now on.  That was almost a month ago.

I'll be doing Twilight Rummage Sale again this month, provided I can get a table.  I put the contact information here for anyone who wants to look into this for themselves.  Fun fun!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Rosebush Negligent Homicide III

I attacked the weeds in my garden today and pulled out a million, I even got some of their roots.  The chickens next door came over to feast on all the scurrying critters that I unearthed.  When I was almost ready to call it a night, I found a surprise waiting for me amongst the last of the weeds.  The nubs of the rosebush!  From the way it was mangled, it looked like it got hit with the mower.  But, there were some tiny hopeful leaves near the base.  I put some fertilizer pellets near the roots and cleaned up the stems with the rose nipper.  Roses have a way of coming back from the dead so maybe it will thrive in time.

I have a feeling I'll be paying for my labor tomorrow in muscle aches.  I put my all into gardening today.  I got an especially stubborn woody pest of a plant that had really deep roots.  There's some bizarre treelike thing growing near my compost bin.  I keep watering it to see what it will turn into, but I think I'm going to regret it.

I'm going down to the basement to make a shelf space for all the things I want to store up for the next Twilight Rummage Sale.  I won't be able to attend until next month, so I'm getting a little too obsessed with it.  I've even made colorful signs for the different things I'm bringing. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Deadlines and Broomsticks

The rosebush was not found, and my landlord didn't return my call, so I guess I better get on with my life.  It's not a big deal. I just thought it would be a new little project.  That's what I get for neglecting my plants for years and now trying to be a good horticulturalist.  I'm like Tommy Lee Jones in The Missing, and the plants are my Cate Blanchetts. 


I set myself the goal of getting my rearranging of my living quarters done by bedtime this Wednesday.  I'm having some family time in a week so I want to have it out of the way.  That means:
  • setting up my new bookcase in the studio, and putting my books and craft supplies in it
  • moving the old bookcase downstairs 
  • moving the boxes of comics into a closet in the studio
  • setting up some shelves in the closet to hold the comics
I have a couple bookcases that I'm having a friend look at this week to see if she wants them, but if not I'll have to give them away.  I've also got to move my records and other art supplies from the basement, as well as some of the artwork that I want on the walls!!

I'm displeased to report that Far West Fibers has updated its policies on what they will and won't accept.  Gone are the bins for plastic film and bags.  They only accept plastic items with a recycling number on the bottom, and not all of them at that.  Also, they don't take as many old appliances as they used to.  I'm hoping that another place will start collecting the other kinds of plastic.  I'm still a fan of FWF though. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Re-ignition

Did a little today that had big results, in my studio space.  I finally moved a file cabinet across the room, and that got me shifting around a few other furniture pieces and random bits.  The floor space is clear for now and I have a place to put my printer and scanner.  I have a little double-decker red vintage end table that can hold both!  No more toppling too-small tables to hold one or the other!


A couple days ago I went through my file folders and shredded a lot of old documents.  I recycled three paper bags' worth of paper strips!  I also created some new folders.  Now most of the things I need put away are already in the drawer.

I had an annoying and mysterious thing happen in my own yard in the last couple days.  There was a tiny rosebush near my fence that had not bloomed in a long time, but I thought if I gave it the same attention I was giving to my tomatoes I might see some happy results.  I decided to weed and fertilize around the plants today, but before I could, I looked out my sliding glass door and noticed the bush was gone!  Who would take it?  It had been there for ages.  Someone mowed my lawn over the weekend (my landlords have it done) but I can't imagine one of them taking it out randomly, especially since all the weeds are still there.  Even weirder, the ground looks nearly undisturbed.  My neighbors ran their sprinkler for over two hours, which splashed right over the spot, so I think any evidence melted away.  Or was there ever really a rose bush there to begin with??

Monday, June 17, 2013

Portland Success Story

Last night I ran a table for the first time at the Twilight Rummage Sale, which happens once a month at the Eagles Lodge on SE Hawthorne here in Portland.  It's a four-hour affair that starts in the late afternoon.  It was replete with activity, sights and sounds from the moment I walked in the door and inquired where my table would be.  Now that I've been doing comics conventions for so long, I felt like a pro getting set up.  Not many people know this, but throughout my childhood I used to help my dad sell antique toys at shows.  I brought a bunch of DVDs and CDs that were left over from the Bad Apple store days, and some earrings I had made.  I also had a few vintage odds and ends.  I started selling stuff even before the show opened!  This isn't to say that I made a million dollars, but I made enough to say it was worth the time, and I would do it again for sure.

I stayed put for most of the time except to take bathroom breaks; I didn't want to get too tempted to buy more stuff.  Everyone had such great things they were selling!  Vintage clothes, vinyl records, toys, art.  Alicia Justus of Red Star Art had a table near mine. I've been a fan of her work for years and I have a few of her dolls and paintings.

The lodge is staffed with kindly members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and there's a full bar and hot food if you want to order it.  Dawn, the organizer for the sale, had a birthday and they brought out cake for her which she shared with everyone in the room.  When they were singing to her the candles on her cake were being blown out by the ceiling fan.  Out of sight!!

I would totally recommend to anyone with junk to sell to give this a try.  Dawn's phone number is 503-285-6786, and her email is lostdolls@hotmail.com.

The whole time I was there I was sitting across from the most amazing piece of art - it was an eagle made of a collage of rhinestone jewelry on black velvet.  Wow!  I wish I had a camera, but I'll get a pic next time I'm there.  This rhinestone patch image doesn't match the glory, but it will have to do for now:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Moribund Tales

I'm working on some important projects at home and it's making me look more critically at the space I work in.  It look me a long time to realize that the current layout isn't really working and it's a mess as it is.  I'm going to have to bring a lot of things upstairs and take a few things down there.  I'm not looking forward to turning things upside down again but this room is really bothering me.  It reminds me of when I was 10 and I'd have a clean room except for a pile of things I didn't know what to do with. 

I'm glad I have the next couple days off because I'll be able to spend a lot of time doing just that.  I'm even going to hit IKEA again and get a new bookcase:
I have a small shelf that I built years ago which I'll be giving away.  I'll post a picture of it tomorrow maybe.  It's made to hold 12" vinyl albums and books.  It's not made really well, but it's held up all this time.  I need to make space in the basement for a whole new arrangement.  It will be so exciting!

I have a new job!  I work in a very nice office with good people.  I park my car on one side of a bridge and walk the rest of the way to work!  My goal is to take my bike to work soon.  I need to build up my stamina.  I wanted to recon the bridge on foot as I don't think I've been over the river by bike yet.  I think riding downtown is going to be the scariest part of the commute.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brix a-Bargeldin'

Here's a little refresher on how to build your own shelf-on-a-shelf, for little to no cost!

1. You will need 4 bricks and something you can use as a shelf surface.  I used a wire shelf that I found on the sidewalk.  You can also use a narrow plywood board or a spare laminated shelf from an old bookcase.  My bricks came from Home Depot and were only .29 each!
2. Place the bricks so that they are standing tall and parallel to each other.  I put two against the closet wall for some added support, but you don't need a wall there.
3. Put your shelf on top, and position the last bricks so that they hold up the corners.  Put your stuff above and underneath!
This is a fairly sturdy way to get a little more storage and keep your piles of things in check.  Keep the length of your shelf under 36" to prevent it from bowing under the weight of whatever is on top.

I'm re-reading Patti Smith's autobiographical book Just Kids.  Every artist needs to read this book.  It's kind of a reprieve from the slew of fraught parent-child relationship nonfiction I've been working on these past few months.  Like Running With Scissors.  I wish I had the chance to see Augusten Burroughs read live at Powells, but I was busy that night, alas.



Friday, May 3, 2013

Return to Green Gables

April was a busy month and left little time to make some lasting impact on my housework.  When guests come to stay I use the office to throw all the random papers and supplies, so now I have to undo that mess.

This past week alone I was involved in several major events, including Stumptown Comics Fest and Gridlords.  There have been a lot of big things happening, including the announcement that I've passed ownership of the business I owned up until two months ago to my employee/business partner.  Also my birthday was yesterday along with everything else going on.  Now I feel like I can start catching up on some things I have put aside for a little while.

I admit that for the past month I've been blocked in terms of writing in here.  I was really on a roll for a while before that, with all the posts I completed.  It's hard to write about what really is just self-actualization silliness when there is so much going on in the world.

Today I'm handling the office, getting the stacks of papers and files off the floor.  Here's where I'm at right now:
I'm watching season 2 of Game of Thrones.  It was my birthday present to myself, along with a giant buttermilk donut from Blue Star Donuts.  Heaven on earth.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Outdoor Sports

I expanded my mission to encompass reaches outside of the house.  It's important to take advantage of the stretches of un-rainy weather where you can find them here.  I weeded out the planter next to my front doorstep and trimmed down the plants that were intended to stay there.  I had had a lush little rainforest flourishing there for a while, but now it's fully cleared out.  In my usual way, once I get started on such a project I want to keep on for a while, so I swept the front walk and steps.  I threw away the doormat, which was so enfeebled that it was growing happy green weeds.  I swept right down to the sidewalk!  I'm sure that the chickens next door are going to scatter bark and poop all over in a matter of days but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

The next day I took car of the car interior, vacuuming and wiping it down with those Clorox things.  It really needed it, what a disaster.  As I was taking garbage out from the far reaches under seats, it hit me more and more how I'd been driving around and unwittingly adding to the mess, and my friends who occasionally ride with me have to put up with it!  It's not perfect but it's a far cry from what it was 36 hours ago.  What I really need is a way to get pennies unstuck from the bottoms of the cup holders.

Tonight I'm turning my attentions to the inside of the house so I don't feel guilty about the times my neighbor walks through our shared backyard and sees into my kitchen.  I know she knows I haven't been throwing any parties lately so the mess that's there is obviously a result of my solo slovenly ways.

My big housekeeping goal for the week is to move the furniture around in the office so I can have a printer/scanner table next to the desk.  I really hoped I didn't have to move the file cabinet so soon but it has to be.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dumb dumb dumb

I was a little surprised to see that it's been almost 10 days since my last published post.  I haven't felt like there is anything worth saying about housekeeping in the face of the horrible things that have been happening in Boston and Texas this last week.  I started this entry a couple times but there really is no point.  Who cares about stupid sorting and filing and cleaning and all that?  Not me, not right now.  At least, I don't care about talking about it.  I do need to keep my hand busy at times like these.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rites of Spring

When I said that I had cleared out the refrigerator the other day, that was true, but it wasn't the whole story.  I had removed containers of chutney, miso, kimchee, and lots of good smelly stuff that I was slowly dumping into the compost I was collecting.  I got pretty much all of it into the bin today.  The words "vomit sundae" came to mind as I was piling it into the compost-collecting bowl.  I inadvertently discovered how to make friends with the neighbor's chickens in the process.  They seemed very interested in the fact that I was holding a shiny metal bowl when I was on the patio, and they all hopped through the gap in the fence to investigate.  Instant feathered friends!  Their owner saw us, and I got a free tour of their coop/pen and four fresh eggs, all different colors! 

I got up a bit late today, because I couldn't fall asleep last night.  I managed to get a lot done in spite of that.  I went with a friend to Far West Fibers to do some intense recycling.  Sadly, they are not accepting rigid plastics right now, only the bags/film and bottles with necks.

I plan to clean out my car as soon as the weather is better, along with the planter that is right next to my front door.  It's filled with weeds and the plants that should be there are way overgrown.  It's time to also clean up the flower pots with the geraniums!  I'm looking forward to getting more plants this spring and having a garden again.

I've kept up with staying off the daytime TV but I think tonight is the first night I'll be going to bed at a reasonable time.  I just get so busy with little things close to midnight and I just want to keep going.  Not tonight, I'm just too tired.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Wooze Day

I took an unexpectedly long nap today and woke up just in time to receive some guests at 7pm.  I actually hate napping during the day, it seems like a waste of time.

I've been waking up regularly but having a hard time getting out of bed.  My comforter is like drugs.  So is the mattress.  If I ever needed a new mattress I would go to Sears and buy exactly the same one I have now.  It is perfect.  I compare everyplace I sleep when I'm traveling to the one at home.  Those memory foam mattresses are overrated.  They make me feel like my soul is being slurped out of whatever side I'm lying on.

I've also been successfully avoiding TV during the day.  While I can't exactly correlate a higher level of productivity to that yet I think my head is a bit clearer.  I listen to books on CD while I'm doing things around the house.

I haven't really made anything this week, unless you count the scrapbook I've been updating with new clippings.  I just used up my last glue stick.  Also I made mini packs of these beautiful vintage French postcards that I'm going to tie with ribbons and sell somehow.  They're all engravings of European nobility from the early 19th century back to the Medieval times.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter Adjustments

These past couple of weeks have been full of huge ups and downs.  On the good side, I experienced some of the happiest days I've had in a few months.  The day after Easter was particularly nice, as I wrapped up my tax documents, and recovered enough from a cold to jump in my car and see my family for a day and a night. 

 With the rainy weather happening I've been working on catching up on some things I had been putting off for a while.  I cleaned out the fridge today.  Now it looks really bare!

I've been thinking more about how I can use this blog to help me achieve some more goals, and I thought of a few:
  1. Get up earlier, at a more consistent time every day
  2. Stop watching TV/DVDs during the day
  3. Make something every day
They're not very lofty ambitions but they've been on my mind for a while.  I'm applying the same strategy with these as I have with the basement, and I'm going to try to change for a week.  I'll blog every couple of days and let everyone know how it's going, starting today.

 As for my original project, the basement, it's not too bad but I haven't done anything new.  I have to accept that a basement really is mainly a storage area for houses, and that it doesn't have to be perfect.  The upstairs office has become the new sorting project.  



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Something is in retrograde

I don't follow astrology very much but I found this story someone posted on Facebook and all I can think is that it's doing something peculiar to my undertakings this week.

Remember Bob?  I got two calls from him today; he thought he had a pickup to do at my house but it turns out he was supposed to pick up some tires somewhere else.  Even after I let his wife know he made a mistake, he called looking for directions to my house.  Luckily I set him straight before he made it to my neighborhood.

In eBay related news, I had not one but two people try to back out of sales after the auctions' completions, for no good reason other than they changed their minds.  One person decided to pay before I could react to her message about the cancellation request.  The other, who was in Canada, said she didn't want it because the postage was unexpectedly too high.  Not only would she have been able to calculate that ahead of time, the cost was $4 higher than the US economy rate I had listed.  After some back and forth, in which she changed her reasons several times for wanting to cancel, she finally paid.  I take the bidding thing seriously, the stuff is up for an entire week so there's plenty of time to retract bids.  After a week of hoping something will sell, I don't want to wait another week unnecessarily!

Is it a further coincidence that last night I watched A Dangerous Method again, in which Jung claims he doesn't believe in coincidences?  I think fate is trying to tell me to do things I've been putting off and stop being so flaky, i.e. to finish my accounting & tax documents once and for all.

Is it weird that I find this scene so soothing? 

I am expecting guests tomorrow night, and there's a lot of work to do around the house.  I've got to move a few shortboxes full of comics from the living room.  Also I have to keep in mind that one of those guests is a roly-poly teething baby!  I must baby-proof like the wind.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Craigslist and the big stand-up game

If you try to get rid of stuff on the "Free" section of Craigslist's "For Sale" category, be prepared to meet the flakiest people in town.  I put the microfiche machine up because I couldn't find a taker out of anyone I knew.  The first guy who responded set up a meeting time, and I cut off a nice visit with a dear friend to meet this weenie.  When he didn't show I texted him to see if he was still coming and he didn't get back to me for an hour.  He offered to come get it "after the Ducks game", which means nothing to me except that ball games end when they end.  When I asked him for a more specific time he changed his mind about the whole thing.

After a few more tries with the other people who had contacted me, I emailed a man I will call Bob.  His reply asked that I not fall through on an arranged time, so I figured I had my man.  I began to doubt when he left me a message saying he'd be an hour late, but he did show and got the equipment.  Not only that, but Bob offered to take anything else I might be giving away.  I thought for a second about giving him the furniture that I didn't give to the last Salvation Army pickup, but realized I would have to empty them out.  He then told me about his vision problems, which made me worry that he was driving all the way out to Beaverton, when he said I looked like a blur to him.  I was standing three feet away from him when he said this.  All told though he was a nice man and we're both happy with how the transaction went.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The dark horses at the eBay races

For the last few days I've been posting a quantity of items on eBay and seeing some surprising results.  I know the things I'm putting up for auction have some value, but it amazes me to see what people will collect.  A broken antique stereoscope went online this afternoon and already has a bid.  A wooden game board that I expected to bring in under $10 is up to three times that.  I wasn't even sure this stuff was going to get a second look, but you never know.  The old favorite, bakelite, is still garnering lots of attention, and there is some in one of my active auctions right now.  I'm short on packing materials.  I have bubble wrap but not enough boxes.  I'm kicking myself for being so thorough on some of the recycling last year, but spilt milk and all that.


I watched a terrifying movie while I was sorting out my office closet a couple days ago: Martha Marcy May Marlene.  It's about a young woman who escapes a cult and experiences psychological problems in the aftermath.  I got so freaked out I felt like I was tiptoeing around the house until I went to bed.  Then I had a dream that someone came in my house while I was sleeping and left the front door open!  This movie was really good, but if you see it, don't watch it alone at night! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It seems like yesterday...

...that I was writing the three-month anniversary entry, and now here it is past six months since I started this blog! 

My sister suggested that I lay out some steps for my tidying procedures, which I think is a great idea, but they're very loose as you have witnessed.  However, I think the best advice I could give is just to start with one tiny area and work out from there.  Just do a little each day.  My methodology has not solidified much.  At the start I had to make sure my area in the basement was safe, and the same goes for the upstairs rooms.  It gets like a war zone.  Don't forget stuff that falls on the floor.  I have brown carpets and I've found a myriad of tiny sharp objects: hairpins, screws, earrings, thumbtacks.  It helps to have a bright flashlight to shine in the corners and under furniture before you vacuum or step. 

As for the basement work that I've resumed, it's getting along slowly.  In fact, I'm not sure if the change is even noticeable.  Here's an update photo of the room:
 And, to alleviate the seeming moribundity of that area, I give you the jollier upstairs office, one corner of it anyway:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Everybody says it's just like Robin Hood

I got fed up with things last night and threw a sheet over the TV set so I won't revert to watching DVDs while trying to do other things.  Not that I'm not watching other things (hello YouTube) or overusing the computer in general, but I did manage to avoid the brain fog that overtook me since Sunday.  It seems that everyone I know is feeling it so I don't think it's all me, we are blaming on the weekend time change now.  I did get almost everything on my to-do list completed today.

I am using the ruse of gifting to move some things out of this house.  My brother in law is a musician with a big CD collection, so I am sending him and my sister a nice big box of CDs that I think they will like.  I am sending a friend a package of books as a late birthday present.  Hooray media mail rates!

I am also starting to sell on eBay again, so I put a few things up this evening.  I want to raise some money and make some room.

Yesterday was Donation Tuesday, that is, I gave away a lot of stuff without even planning to do it in a day.  I gave that weird wire rack to my friend Virginia for some extra storage of her own, and made a pit stop dropoff at SCRAP, where I also found cheap and plentiful contact paper.  I had nearly bought some new at Fred Meyer a couple days ago, but it the cheapest was $5.99 a roll!  No!!  I need it to cover some shelves in my linen closet, because I think they got a little oily with some of the medicines and things sitting on them for years.  I don't want clean sheets touching that!  I rounded off yesterday with a stop at Goodwill to get rid of the stuff I had left over.  The day began auspiciously with a call from Volunteers of America, asking if I had any household goods to have picked up.  They don't take furniture, alas.

I had a call from a guy yesterday about a job interview, who told me he was going to call me today to set up the appointment.  He never called, but I wasn't surprised.  If someone calls you to tell you they're going to call you, they have a problem.

    

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Crab

I was saddened today to hear about the death of Don, my landlord for the last nine and a half years.  He was a kind man who was always cheerful with me, except for the time when he told me months ago that he was fighting cancer.  I spoke to his wife today on the phone.  They would have been married 56 years next month.  I was kind of prepared for this news, but it was still a shock.  Don and Carol have been the best kind of landlords, on top of every little thing that came up with the house.   

When Dylan and I moved to this place, we were starting our own cancer nightmare journey.  It's hard to find the right words to say to someone who has gone through the same things, even having been through it myself.







Friday, March 8, 2013

Dig Dug

I felt a huge sense of accomplishment telling my sister that I'd turned a nearly unusable room into my new bedroom.  Somehow the incredulity of other people at the things I do makes me feel fantastic.  I just got back from California.  I haven't really had relatives in my house in about a year and a half, which is kind of funny since I've gone to see all of them.

Now that I'm back here I'm trying to get back to the basement thing and working on that part I had pictured here.  I spent about 20 minutes on it just now and here are some things I found:
  • a green coated-wire rack or trellis of some sort, disassembled
  • brass lampshade, seemingly for no lamp I own
  • green wooden house from an old Monopoly game
  • plastic storage drawers filled with actual keepsakes, as wells as rags and vintage hankies
  • that fucking bag of papers I referred to in the blog post to which I just linked above.
Part of the reason I'm upset over them is that I'm afraid to look and see what a mess I might have made of Dylan's and my 2011 taxes.  So, they are still in that room being punished.  I can't bring myself to even handle them.

On a lighter note I'm starting to look through the keepsake bits and see what there is.

The days are getting longer, and the SAD stuff is waning, but I've had some mild persistent anxiety for a few days now.  I have a lot on my mind, more to come on that.  I loved being away but I'm glad I have so much to occupy me here.

I finished two books while I was away, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett and A State of Heat by Sheilah Graham.  I didn't realize I was an Alan Bennett fan until I found this book, he wrote the play The History Boys and another great book that my mother-in-law gave me years ago, The Clothes They Stood Up In.  I wouldn't even have seen the book I just read except that it was on a counter in the library, in a display of small books that tend to get lost in the shelves.  It was standing next to a book illustrated by Tom Neely


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Beds and Blockheads

I'm not where I can do any real work right now.  There's been a couple entries where I mentioned by new bed, but forgot to say where it came from.  I want to plug this company, Mission Craft Furniture, because they're local and affordable, and they do all the work custom right in their shop on St Helen's Road, Portland.  I wanted something extremely simple that I just wasn't finding on Craigslist or at estate sales.  The owner took my order and had the parts made and delivered (there might be a small fee for that, I can't remember), then they set it up right in the bedroom.  That was a year ago.  They had all kinds of styles and woods, and you can just point at what you want and say, I'll have that kind of leg with this kind of headboard and this finish, blah blah blah.  I even specified how high I wanted the platform built so I could store things underneath.  My bed is just legs with a frame on top for the slats, no head or footboards, but if I need another new bed someday I would go to them.  I feel pretty strongly about getting used stuff over new with just about anything. 

Ian Dury named his record "New Boots and Panties!!" because that was all he would buy new for himself, I can understand that point of view.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Natural History

I'm so tired right now, but I wanted to check in and say something.  My living room is full of books again, they came off the shelves and I'm looking at what to keep and what to sell.  I'm not going to go through the same donation dilemma I had before.  I've evolved to the point where I can let go more easily.  I'm also not freaking out inside about when I'm going to have my floor space back. 

I went to see my therapist today.  She got a new office.  This is the third location she's had since we began about 9 months ago, but that's a good thing.   Everybody needs the perfect fit. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Out-of-Doors Me

For the last three months I've been putting more energy into getting full-time work, even though I'm putting just as much as ever into the whole organizing thing.  Today I had the first job interview I've had where I got it myself, and an employment agency didn't set it up for me.  People are really reading the resumes I'm seemingly sending out into thin air!  And today I got a postcard from another potential employer to say that they are reviewing my qualifications; that's something, even if it's a form letter, more or less.
Fraulein Sophie Von Prieser by Florine Stettheimer, 1929
I took up a volunteer position at the art museum to help me get more comfortable with working around people I don't know all that well.  It's been all right so far, and it's even brought some unexpected benefits.  I can visit the museum for free, and I can get into film center movies for free.  There's also a model drawing night once a month to which volunteers and employees can attend at no charge, otherwise there's a small fee.  Alas, I have not been able to attend on my last two chances.  Another great thing is that the Portland International Film Festival is happening now, and if I volunteer I get free standby passes.  I’ve always loved the museum, I’m glad I get to spend so much time there now!  The art pieces I like are friends.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I put that free box on the sidewalk that I was talking about doing.  I had just put it down and was getting ready to back out of my driveway when a man stopped to look through the box.  When I got home later it was gone!  I want to add that while putting out free stuff is excellent in so many ways, when it’s left in the rain for days on end it becomes garbage!  People should take their stuff back indoors if no one wants it!



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crust, Mantle, Core, Magma

"Ha ha ha," laughed the evil, mean Basement.  "You thought you had come so far, and now you must face another trial."

It's time to move from the main room in the basement to its outer reaches.  I mean the room behind the room, which became a DigiWorld of comics, extra furniture, and even more books.  I could build a whole new house with just books.  That's a microfiche machine on the left, remember those?  I've been dreading this task for a while, because some of this stuff might not have anywhere else to go.  The room is small so it's hard to get a good vantage point with a camera.  This is a pretty convincing panorama though. 

I feel like I'm living in the House of Usher this week.  Every room has its little frozen-in-time place that has a life of its own, it's not always easy or fun to encounter them.  I found some papers I'd been searching for since over a year ago, and now I no longer need them.  They were in that room above, far away from where I thought they'd ever be. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Basement Diaries

I've returned my attentions more to the basement in the last couple days, as it occurred to me that I could sell some furnishings that I couldn't fit into the car to take to the garage sale.  Which, in case I didn't make clear, was 100 miles away and not in the Portland city limits. I took them to Village Merchants' new location.  I have an overabundance of end tables since I got all the furniture from my mother-in-law last year.  I don't want to hang onto them until I move, whenever that is.  I traded the tables and other small things for some cotton curtains and other needed supplies.   The curtains can go across my new closet opening on the tension rod I got the other day, after I wash them.

I think it's time I found some new favorite thrift shopping places.  But then again maybe it's good that I'm not hunting too much.  

I went to IKEA on Saturday with a couple of lady friends.  I feel a little guilty shopping there, but when I think about how I only bought one stick of new furniture in years, I don't feel too bad.  I got a metal trestle leg thing to hold up one end of the desk I built for myself nine years ago. I tried looking for a sawhorse I could salvage, but nowadays the sawhorses are all beefy, almost pony-sized.  A lot of them are made of that heavy duty plastic too.  The trestle is dainty and above all, coordinates with the rest of the desk.
It looks like the old lady could use a new coat of paint.  I used a white stain when I made it and now it's covered with other kinds of stains.  The top looks a little lopsided here, but it's nothing a couple magazines (Oprah and Martha!) won't fix.

I'm glad that Portland is so fond of leaving stuff on the sidewalk for people to find and re-use.  I'm going to put the metal-and-particle board shelf unit that was holding up the left end of the desk out tomorrow.  I don't want to give out my address here, but if you know me and if it's a nice day tomorrow then you might find something outside my driveway!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Needles & Pins

I haven't done any book reviews in a while so I thought I'd write this up.  It's Tokyo: A Certain Style by Kyoichi Tsuzuki.  It's a very small (4.25" x 5.75") volume about the tiny apartments in which people in Tokyo live, really it's a photo book with lots of short paragraphs about the types of people that live in each space.  I'm very fortunate to have a apartment that's fairly big for a single dweller, but there's a lot of unusual things in this book that anyone can use if they need ideas for storing and stacking their possessions.  For folks with minimal square footage at their disposal, a lot of the subjects of this book are not what you'd call minimalists!
I got this when I worked at Reading Frenzy years ago, and you can still get it at Powells, but it looks like you have to order it.

This has been a strange week.  I've been feeling a little wistful over an event that is related to the big picture of what's happening with me.  Also for many days now I've been having some fucked-up dreams, I only remember about half of them and I'm not sure where they're all coming from.  I am getting up earlier in the morning than I used to though.

On another bright note, my job hunt is turning up more leads than ever.  Everything I do is for a better tomorrow.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Garage Sale Day

My mom and I had a garage sale at her house yesterday.  The whole thing was literally in the garage.  She had placed an at in the local paper and sure enough we had about ten or twelve people waiting outside when we raised the doors!  I wasn't expecting the onslaught.  When I have sales in my own driveway I have to sit there all day to sell anything.  My mom had a lot of vintage furniture, which seems to draw a lot of people.  I did sell the bear footstool, and a load of nice dishes that I had no use for at home.  I was gifted three sets of dishes last year all at once, and I already use two sets and have no room for more!  It's nice to see people excited about your stuff. 

My star customer was a guy, about 60 or so, who wanted to buy vinyl albums.  We had some, Jim Nabors and the Pointer Sisters et. al., but not what he was after.  He told me the records we had were "too liberal" for him, and that he wanted music from the 1950s.  I showed him a shoebox full of cassettes just in case.  He passed up Hank Williams Sr. and Patsy Cline but purchased Rage Against the Machine's Battle of Los Angeles.  ?!?!?!  Then he got a backpack shaped like a bat, hoping that one of his grandkids would like it.  That's a bat, like the small flying mammal, not a baseball bat.

I'm reading a book called Lies My Mother Never Told Me, by Kaylie Jones.  She's the daughter of James Jones, the author of books like The Thin Red Line and From Here to Eternity.  Kaylie has written several novels, including A Soldier's Daugher Never Cries, which is based on her childhood.  The book I'm reading is an actual memoir about both of her parents, their lives together and their alcoholism, which Kaylie inherited.  It's very good, but I think I would like to read some of James Jones' work for once.  I read some a book with some of his letters to friends, not his novels yet.

What was my mother doing with a Pointer Sisters album?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Is Old

I've been keeping scrapbooks since about 1997, with ideas that I clip from magazines and newspapers.  There are hundreds of pages with images of interior design stuff, as well as clothes and hair and such.  Here's a picture I took of some of the pages:
Scrapbooks are a really good idea, or even just folders of clippings if you are working on some kind of home renovation project.  Even if I really just like a color combination in a photo I'll cut it out.  The books I keep them in are the large blank sketch books with the black pebbly covers, but you can use anything.  These particular ones are pretty heavy now and don't fit upright on most shelves, but they hold the larger images very nicely.  As you can see my aesthetics are all over the place.  Maybe someday I'll put in some photos of my living room or office to give you an idea of what I surround myself with.

The "secret" project I mentioned in this post is done, at least my part of it.  I did a design for a friend's bathroom, which hasn't been renovated yet, but I wanted to use the drawings for my portfolio.  Also, the end design is going to be different.  So, what you are seeing here is my portfolio page layout.  I think I need to look at it tomorrow when I've had some sleep and see what I think.  I deliberately took out the name of the person whose house it's in, but maybe you can guess?!
I will freely admit that my InDesign skills need polishing, and that I realized as I was wrapping up for the evening some things that would improve a few details.  But overall I'm pretty happy with it.  The drawings were done in AutoCAD, a drafting program, then rendered in Photoshop.  A village of software programs made this 11x17 page.

Most of the work I've been doing in my own house has started in my imagination and then led to massive amounts of furniture being moved.  I did a little sketching for the office but I really just visualized things as I went along.






Monday, January 28, 2013

A bear in my basement

I put on my to-do list to put things in my car that I'm selling at my mom's garage sale.  It's not until the weekend but I think I'll just get some things out of my sight for a while and out of my footpath.  I'll get things done ahead of time for once!  Win-win.

Here's an example of something I'll be trying to sell at the sale.  It's a footstool:

Just like a food pyramid, there should be a pyramid of methods of getting rid of things.  At the narrowest part of the pyramid, where the sweets and fats would equate, is the landfill.  At the widest bottom part is giving things to people who will treasure them.  I'm trying to hit somewhere in the middle of the pyramid, with yard sales and giving to nonprofits.

Now that my bedroom and the office have switched places I find myself making wrong turns to go and use the computer, or get something to wear.  It's been over a week now!  I am soooo happy with this change.  I love going in my new room.  It's not completely done but it's very comfortable now.  I even took my (polyfill) comforter to the Belmont Eco Laundry to get it fresh for the new year.

 I'm starting a new volunteer job at the art museum this week, and perhaps I'll have another job interview in the next day or two.  An agency I have worked through in the past is setting it up.  Every week I think my job schedule could change so I have to do as much as I can to complete my goals, to use my free time well.  That's why I got my room painted and arranged in such short order.  I don't recognize rooms in my own home as a result, where I've lived for the last 9 years and more.



I kept thinking about this skit this evening. I guess it belongs here. THANK YOU SATAN!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Moving On Up

I stopped into the new location of Village Merchants, which I first mentioned in this post a while back.  They are my favorite thrift store in town, which I thought might change after they moved, but they are even better now if that can be believed.  They are now on SE Division & 41st, about 7 blocks from their old building, which I heard I going to be torn down to make way for a new building.  Village Merchants is now bigger and better!  I mean, wayyy bigger!  They even have an upstairs!  There's more parking too, not that that was a huge problem before.  Now it'll be easier to lug bags of stuff I want to sell inside though.  Whoooppeee!!

Today was half great and half "Huh?"  I had dim sum with my friend Ann at a great place called Ocean City on SE 82nd.  We both had a feast with hot tea for under $20!!  After I ran a couple errands I took a long nap without meaning to.  When I woke up I thought it was only 6pm but it was 7:30!  I watched Twin Peaks with some friends and came back home.  I hope I get more done tomorrow, when I went to bed last night I couldn't sleep until about 4am so I think I just need a fresh start.

I've been thinking a lot about where I was last year with mental health and such, and how far I've come with managing grief, anxiety and depression.  Whoever tells you that there are these stages you go through to get to a healing place are full of crap.  The phases come and go.  I really am in a much better place but I've accepted that I'll be dealing with many of these issues for years to come.  This time last year I was having anxiety and panic attacks everyday, so bad that I went to see a doctor to make sure my heart was working properly.  I still have problems but I'm learning how to manage them instead of hoping they fade away someday.

That said, I couldn't help but notice that the blog post with the most hits was the one tagged with "mental illness".  Ha ha ha!!  Sorry, no big revelations there folks.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beep beep

I forgot to mention a couple thoughts in my post yesterday, not that anyone's missing much.  When I go to places like the antique show I was at yesterday, it still surprises me a little that people are willing to deal with me on an adult level.  I'm saying this because I grew up going to antique collectors' swap meets and such, and my dad used to sell old toys at them, so I'm used to browsing on an epic level.  When you're a little kid and looking through Beatles memorabilia or 80-year-old teddy bears, no one expects you to have money in your pocket, but no one thinks you're going to steal either (which I never did, it's like cursing yourself) so I was pretty much ignored or indulged.  I usually had about five to ten bucks that my dad would give me but I would wait until the last minute to buy anything if I could afford it.  So when I go to these things now I still expect the same treatment.  It's a little weird when people aren't shocked that I'm going to try to bargain like an adult.  And I'm a little surprised that it's ok to do it, and that people don't act like I must be broke.

The other thing is I wanted a nun's bedroom more or less, it's funny but that's how I pictured it before I put it all together.  I just wanted the essentials back in it.  I once saw a picture of Marguerite Duras' (NOT a nun) bedroom and thought, that's what I want.  Just a bed and a chair and a dresser.  It's like what I mentioned before about my friend who didn't want anything in his room that didn't belong in it.  I've been waking up for years surrounded by stacks of CDs, books, clothes and furniture and I want no more noise in my visual field.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sleep in heavenly peace

Today was an anniversary of sorts and I didn't even realize it until it was almost over.  I spent part of today with my dad at the Clark County Fairgrounds walking around an antique show.  A year ago I was at this same antique show and I began thinking how fun it would be to do a blog about thrifting and the old stuff I use to decorate my apartment.  A few months later Fitzrovians was born.  As I think I've said before, this was going to be a different type of blog at the start.  I'm glad it's come as far as it did!

For now, the basement is just a basement and I'm using it to store stuff while I work on the rooms upstairs.  It's been so cold, I don't even like going downstairs for long.  The time I've put into my bedroom and office have paid off and here is a look at my new sleeping space, before and after:
The perspective makes it look cramped, but it's very comfortable.  You can't really see it but the walls are a very pale yellow now.

A peek at another corner:
I proudly showed a small group of friends around, partly to explain to them why the living room and kitchen are such horrors.  They were very appreciative, but after they went home I noticed I had left a box of feminine products on full display. ¡Estupida!

You'll be very interested to see what I got at the antique fair: this fabulous cuckoo clock made of solid ceramic.  It doesn't tell time and frankly, the cuckoo doesn't even look much like a bird.  I got it partly because I thought it looked like a moray eel shooting out of the door.  If you have ever seen Robert Altman's movie Three Women, you will understand why it's perfectly appropriate to have these items together on my bathroom wall.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Last post before...

...I take apart my computer system and move it out of the room.  It's showtime!  I am cleaning the walls tonight and painting tomorrow.  I may have a super busy work schedule happening this week so I want to get my new bedroom ready to move in.

I spent some time today moving a rack filled with comics shortboxes to one side of the room, then out of the room altogether into the living room.  It's a fucking disaster zone once again out there.  The living room is the new defacto storage space, now that I'm repurposing the other rooms upstairs.

Just to be clear, I have a (large, unfinished) basement and then there's one floor that I live on, no second floor.  I have a two bedroom apartment, and one of those rooms has always been an office.  I might make it sound sometimes like this is bigger house.  It's why it gets so messy, I have to play Tetris with all of this junk.  My bedroom is full too.  It's hard to believe that it's much less stuff than it was a year ago, or that I've bought very little to add to the decor.  The only new piece of furniture that I purchased (that I still have around) is my bed.  I was gifted a lot of furniture from my mother-in-law a year ago but I found places around the house for all of it.  Mostly by getting rid of stuff I already had.

This evening I got the paint I'm using, it's a warm white with just a hint of orange.  You have to use a warm color to offset these Northwest winter grays and cold sunshine days.  Also, my new bedroom window faces the north so I don't think I'll be having a lot of direct sunlight in here.  I can't wait to see it all come together!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Basket Slips

I put some slips of paper in a basket with some ideas of things to keep me busy when I think I've run out - it's not like I ever do, but sometimes I need something to spur me to the next thing.  I can't seem to get my head together since before Christmas.  I think it's the SAD, I can't make myself do anything until it's getting late.
The slips say things like "clean the kitchen floor" or "frame a picture".  I am just so dulled out in my mind these days.  I wish I was perkier.  Coffee is doing very little to help.

I got a haircut today at Bella Institute over on SE Division.  My stylist was from Paris!  I wonder why she'd come all the way to the humble reaches of Portland?!  She did a great job, her name is Natacha if you need a new look for 2013!

Last night I tried to gather things that I'm going to bring over to my parents' house when they have their garage sale.   I have a spot in the basement, out of view of the photos you've seen, where it's all going.  I hope the sale will happen in a week or two.

I am working on clearing out the room that will become my bedroom.  It is unrecognizable from the way it was about a month ago.  I need to clean and spackle the walls but first I will have to take apart my whole computer setup that I use everyday and move it out of the room.  I've been dreading it and putting it off, but I must work fast in case I get a temp job soon and have to put it off more.