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.