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?