Saturday, October 14, 2017

Endless Bummer

I had a brilliant thought while observing the mess my "tidying" is creating.  I should keep the activity in the room where the work needs to happen.  I can watch movies on the laptop in the office while shredding, instead of dragging it out in front of the telly.  Another win!

I'm getting rid of this thing on the Buy Nothing page:
And all of this stuff on the table needs to go somewhere:
I have a file crate coming from one of my friends to help me condense the things I removed from the big file cabinet.

Well, this is going really slowly.  But at least the floor has stayed relatively clear. 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

All Right So Far

In which we ask the question, if you toss warranties and manuals and other official-looking pamphlets, none of which you've looked at in six years or more, will you come to regret it once they have been taken by the recycling truck?  This is what I will be wondering in the near future.

I was too tired to do much but cook food and sit on the sofa, so I recycled the above materials and shredded a lot of old paperwork.  It was the kind that is hard not to keep reading, the kind that is painful to read, and at the same time hard to dispose of.  I did manage to but it's hard not to think about it.

It's cold out finally, so I think I'm going to borrow my neighbors' fire pit while they're away on vacation and burn some things.  I don't have any wood but it's an opportunity that's too good to miss.  Don't worry, these are the neighbors in my duplex, so I'm not sneaking into anyone's back yard.

I've been making more food for myself to take to work so I am working on my goals for the month.  I've been sleeping pretty well too.  I'm part of an online sleep study so I'm more motivated this week to work on that too.





Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nice to Be Nice

I surprised myself by getting my full list of things done this week already!  On the list for the coming few days, I wanna put a couple more things up on Buy Nothing Portland, donate a couple things to Goodwill, maybe list some things on Craigslist as well.  All whilst continuing the office clean-out project.

I have a small list of habits I want to work on, while I'm getting all of these other things taken care of:
  1. Arriving on time for things
  2. Making my lunch each day (plus snacks)
  3. Get better sleep.  This is really hard because of my sleep disorder(s) but I'm going to go to be earlier to at least have more time to get back to sleep when I do wake up. 


I'll have a new list in a day or two.  I'm planning to be away for part of the weekend so there might not be enough time at home to get lots done. 

I guess one thing that will help is just to get the things that I don't want out of the office.  I'd like to get the carpet out of there so the less that is in there, the better.    

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sometimes a Great Notion

I did pretty well with my Monday night planned chores except that I did not get the curtains hung until last night.  But I did change the sheets on the bed and work on my #inktober drawing for Instagram so it evens out.  I did a whole lot of shredding.  And the person who is taking the file cabinet is coming this afternoon!

Here's an updated corner pic of the office:

And the chair with the "to be shredded" stack: 

Here's a tip for people with the same amount of papers to dispose of: just do it as fast as you can and look at them as little as possible.  I found myself glancing at medical records and notes from collections people and feeling anxious and glum.  Googly, googly, googly, begone!

From The Fall, great movie
I've taken a lot of art downstairs.  I'm trying to frame some pieces so they don't stay hidden.  I have a lot of salvaged frames for that purpose.  I never have to buy new frames, as far too many have fallen into my possession completely by accident.

Since I'm here, let's admire my newly hung bedroom draperies on double rods, like the living room has:
My blackout curtains are no longer weighing down a handful of thumbtacks.  Winning!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Stop Your Messing Around

Tonight's activities include: changing lightbulbs, laundry, dishes, and practicing the drums.  Also, putting up a double curtain rod in the bedroom at last.  It's high time I stopped relying on thumb tacks to hold up my window coverings. 

Yesterday I cleaned up the porch for a fast spiritual lift.  There was a giant alien plant growing over half the walkway. I wish I took a picture but I cut it away bit by bit before I thought to do that.  I used paper scissors because I was too lazy to head to the basement and get some proper plant shears.

Of course, I also plan to chip away at the office cleanup job.  I don't have new pics yet but there should be some tomorrow.  There are a number of things going to storage in the basement.  I have to get in touch with my file cabinet person, who has not reached out over the weekend, so it might have to go up on Craigslist. 


Friday, September 29, 2017

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Blowsy E. Fitzrovian

The good news: I already found a new home for the file cabinet.  The delay in getting it there came in the form of a toddler who didn't want her parent to leave the house to come and get it, so I have it for a couple more days.  That's ok, but I emptied the drawers prematurely and everything is sitting on a chair in the office.


When I look at this stack, I see a lot of pain and stress from the past.  Financial records from a time where I was busy settling a large estate debt and medical records detailing procedures that ultimately came to nothing.  Plus a lot of things I just held onto because I needed them for a long time but not anymore.

This might take a while, as I think I've said before, shredding paper takes up more space and I think I've taken up my share in my duplex's recycling bin.

I decided last night that I'm sick of these TV dramas and movies about people in the suburbs whose marriages are falling apart, or their dull suburban lives where the only thing that makes sense to do is have an affair and then everything implodes.  Who watches these?  Well, me I guess.  I tried watching the BBC series Doctor Foster, which I read has garnered positive reactions.  But what is so great about watching a show about someone who has a seemingly perfect life and perfect house and kid, and the house is always way too big for the married couple and the kid (THERE'S ALWAYS JUST ONE KID), and then it all goes up in flames because someone has some extra sex. It's a concept from the 1980s, where the tightness of the nuclear family embodies the material successes of the breadwinner(s).  If one thing's not going as planned, it must all be shit!  Dull, dull dull... more people should treat this theme the way John Waters did.  I guess Lifetime Movie Network gets closer to what I wish for.  Maybe I should shut up and write a script instead of wasting my time writing about papers that need to be shredded.

Let me take this moment to congratulate myself yet again for calling the VVA in to take away some more bags of stuff.  I'm finally using the yellow bags they leave as a courtesy when they come by.  Maybe this weekend I'll get rid of the bag of styrofoam peanuts at last too!



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Make Like a Baby and Head Out

It doesn't look like too much is going on here, but there's been a little bit of activity:

I cleared out another drawer of the file cabinet.  I have someone coming to take it away permenently (thanks Buy Nothing Portland page on Facebook!) so it has to be empty after 6pm today. Also, I need to clear off the top.  The stuff inside the drawers will be dealt with in the coming week.  A lot of it is scraps that belonged to Dylan or letters to him.  I'll just have to find a safe place for those things for a while to come yet.

After dispersing the drawer contents, I aim to get whatever is covering the tables in the bottom picture cleaned up.  I might be getting rid of the drawing table, or at least moving it downstairs and folding it up for a while.  I prefer to draw on a board sitting on my lap.

The great thing about all of this work is that I'm motivated to clean up some small areas in the kitchen and living room that have been nagging at me.  The momentum I get from moving stuff out of the office is making me find the right homes for the things in the rest of the house.  See you tomorrow, we hope.







Monday, September 25, 2017

The Slattern's Gazette

Here we are some days later, the floor much clearer and also vacuumed. It helped that the vacuum cleaner was already stuck in the office. I dumped anything I could find on the floor into a large sack for sorting this evening, which I accomplished while watching Trumbo.



I've created a file crate for papers I do want to keep for now, in preparation for getting the file cabinet out of the house.  There seems to be one file cabinet or another stuck in my life at any given time.
As things improve in the office room, everything else in the house gets a little bit neglected but that's ok for now.  I really need to get this done so it doesn't bring me down anymore!

I went to the Twilight Rummage Sale again last Saturday night, where I had a table AND I was one of the DJs.  I began selling the DVDs I've been harboring for six years at half off the normal price.  I'm making room for some other stuff I want to bring this fall.  Watch this space, to quote Rachel Maddow.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hacking Time

I set a timer for 20 minutes last night and just went at the office/studio room, picking up whatever I could and putting it in its place.  Here's where I left it:
Still pretty terrible, with a difference.  Now I can get to the other side of the room without taking 7 league boot steps over each mound.  After the buzzer went off I spent maybe another 15 minutes doing some shredding.  I came to find out that a shredder I'd salvaged off the sidewalk doesn't work, so I have to use the old (heavy) one.  What a fucking surprise.

I'm kind of working without an end goal yet.  I'm just picking everything up and putting it in its proper place as I find it, or to dispose of it permanently, so I don't have to deal with them again!







Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Four on the Floor

I decided to work around my irritation with world events and get on with taking care of some of the things that I can manage.  Like this room for instance.

I've been using it to place things when I'm cleaning up other spaces.  Even Marie Kondo would be furious with me. Here's another view:
This is a result of several things - stuff I brought home from my parents' place when trying to help my dad clean out my mom's things; half-hearted attempts to clean out the file cabinet and get rid of it; ambivalence about keeping the overload of art and small objects I've acquired over my life.

I keep the door shut out of shame when people come over.  A visitor recently thought it was the bathroom and almost went in.  Peeing on any of this stuff would not be a big deal at this point.  I want to get rid of a lot of it anyway, even the carpet.

 I'm summoning a lot of my willpower to dedicate a little time each evening to sort this shit out.  I can't stand to even go in this room so it's sort of urgent.  There are some things I need scattered on the floor and I don't even know where to begin.


I've been using stuff like this to give me a spiritual boost. This works too:


Awright, carry on ya twats.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

All the Tourists of Fitzrovia

Just over a week ago, I was in London.  Right after that I boarded a train for Paris and stayed there five days.  I'm still getting acclimated to my time zone and catching up on all the laundry I need to do.

You'd think I would have tried visiting the real Fitzrovia, but the closest I got was Covent Garden.  I was rather disappointed to see how many shitty upscale chain boutiques were there, but not too surprised.  I then went to my old neighborhood in Southwark to see the street I lived on and the apartment building, and reflect on all that's changed in the years since I was there.

My room was with the window to the left of the door



My neighborhood was so hardcore, and apparently still is, that a spiked fence with "anti-climb" paint encircles the car park.

When I was newly widowed, I often thought of that weird time in London when everything was strange and I had to find all these resources inside myself to make ends meet.  I guess we all have more inside us than we give ourselves credit for, when we need to draw upon it.

And now that a few days have gone by and there's been another bombing in London I feel unable to do any commentary right now about the good times I've had, or about cleaning and tidying and such.  One of the reasons this blog is lagging these days is that there are more important things in the world going on.  I don't need cleaning therapy as much as I did, either.  I'm not giving up on blogging yet, but it's hard to come up with fun tips or anecdotes these days.






Sunday, August 20, 2017

Auspicious Minds

So, sometime since I came back from Frankenstein'son June 17th, this happened:


What am I going to do with this broken table?  Damn, I really need this thing too.  This is where I put all my convention spread for when the time comes to pack. Long skinny tables don't grow on trees.

A couple Twilight Rummage Sales have happened since you and I talked, as well as the comix show, so there's been a lot of activity in the swap meet department.  These last couple rummage sales have me bringing home almost as much stuff as I'm getting rid of, but at least I'm not spending more than I make.  Today I gave away a large amount of DVDs to Friends of the Library as well as some books.  My stock for the swap meets is surely dwindling like

I've been not blogging for a long time because I really don't think that, given the state of the world these days, a tidy home is worth discussing much.  I'm working on my personal plans to make the world a better place (other than creatively dispersing movies and books into the universe).  On a fun note,  I am taking another big trip somewhere, which I'll let you know about later on.




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Round Round Get Around

On Saturday, June 17th, I tabled at the new Vancouver location of Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap.  I brought lots of original comic book art, magazines, DVDs, even some comics.  I left with two fewer boxes than I arrived with, which was lucky because I had to give a ride to another friend at the end of the evening.

What I'm most proud of right now is this:
I don't know how I stood having old IKEA curtains tacked up to the frames for so long.  I guess I thought it would be hard to find what I wanted to hang, and how to hang it. but it wasn't at all.  I got double rods from Fred Meyer on sale for about $3 a set, sheer curtains (4 panels) at Value Village for around $10 for all.  One set was marked down and I had a coupon that day.  The patterned drapes were about $25 each from Target, but worth it when I think about the time and materials to make them.  They're perfect, they look so good with all of the needlepoint stuff.

I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something when no fewer than four different people have brought up Nikola Tesla in conversation over the last week, then the alarm clock stops working, and I lose a key to a cabinet but it mysteriously reappears in the place where I put it in the first place. Some other strange stuff happened too, and you can laugh at me if you want, but I pay attention to these things.  Maybe I've been watching too much Twin Peaks.

 
 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Diary of a Lost Floor

I finally got the flat file out of my basement!  Yes!!  The room seems so much bigger!  My friend came with a truck guy and they took it right out of there.  I swept the space and I'm getting ready to move my drums back in there.  Woohoo!

I'm on a giveaway tear with the Buy Nothing Portland page.  It turns out that the more space you free up, the more stuff you find that you don't need.  Everything gets highlighted more easily.  On the free stuff menu today: canvas punching bag, full spectrum lamp, water-saving shower head parts.  You would think that the lamp would be useful to me, seeing as I have SAD problems every year, but it's really just taking up space.  I think a clearer room will make me happier.

After cleaning in the room for a bit, I even took a minute to go through a box of papers and magazines that I had never really paid attention to over the years.  I found some comics to sell at Frankenstein's Comic Book Swap next weekend, as well as some paperbacks that I can also sell there!  Along with some nice keepsakes that Dylan had stashed in there.  What a find!

PS edit: I placed my first free sidewalk stuff giveaway on Sunday: two small book cases, both of them kind of janky but still useful.  They were both in the laundry room and had been emptied of DVDs recently.  I went out to meet friends for a drink-and-draw and came home to find them gone!  What will I do for a high once I am done tidying?

See ya in the 25th year of NEVER, junkpile!

Oh, and let's please talk about the new Twin Peaks episodes!!   I have to restrain myself around my friends, some who haven't seen all of them, but I'll say here that I suspect there is another tie-in with the great noir film Laura that is being set up in episode 5 and the job interview scene is one of my favorite TV moments in all of my TV watching experience.  OK, those aren't really spoilers.  We'll talk again later!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Basement County USA

Hey, remember this little corner of my basement?


Well, after the guy came and took the lateral file out, everything that was left looked like it was wearing a suit that was too big.  I moved a shelf and gathered all of the DVDs I'm selling onto it.  After sweeping and wiping down the washer & dryer, here's what was left:


This looks good, but it's an even bigger deal to me for a reason that's not immediately apparent.  The DVDs on that shelf are all that are left for me to get rid of.  That's including the Bad Apple stock and personal collection items together.  Not so mega anymore.  When I closed the store I had boxes and shelves full of them and now they're all together in this little corner. 

There are a lot of containers on those shelves in the bottom photo, but they're mostly empty.  I save them for the swap meets to hold my goods. 

This is the most spacious I've seen this place in ten years! 



 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Accidental Exorcist

I made a new project list and one of those things was to set up my stereo system so that I can use it at long last as it was meant to be played.  Dunzo, bitches!

I had taken it apart oh so long ago to use the turntable for my DJ projects, but I decided not to bring it anymore as it's fragile and precious.  One of these days I'll have to get a portable one but until then I'll just use my digital implements.

I put the former cabinet or shelf thing that held the stereo stuff on Craigslist a couple days ago.  I'm still not sure it's the right decision, but it's so hard to connect everything through the tiny holes in the back. 
I did a lot of vacuuming and dusting around the spaces where I was working, which led to my vacuuming other spots in the living room.  I kept finding small piles of dried ant bodies here and there.  I've had several spates of ant attacks in my home again.  In the bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room.  Sometimes I can't even tell why  they're there!  I use the Raid gel to fend them off and it works really well!  Just put a tiny amount on a tiny slip of paper and place it in the pathway of the ants.  Soon they will swarm the gel  (it's really fascinating in a gross way) and hours later most if not all will be gone.  I think that spiders are eating the ants I've been finding.  I've been contending with spiders and centipedes on top of everything and it's just disgusting.  I try to leave centipedes alone if they're in the basement, because they do eat insects and spiders, but if they come into my personal space then they're going to eat shit and that's that.  Killing one of them is really gross so it's best to trap it and throw it outdoors.

I had some more adventures with the Buy Nothing page on Facebook.  I found a new home for a mandolin that once belonged to Dylan.  He got it a few months before he died but never got to learn to play it as planned.  Only recently did I think that it might be a good thing to gift someone.  It now lives with a good person whose lovely friend got it from me on the FB page.  I also gave away an old folding mirror to a person with spectacular selfies of their groovy makeup and hairstyle combos.  I was disappointed that I couldn't be there when they came to pick up (it was a "porch pickup").

Hokay, I topped off this week's giveaway streak with a guy coming over to take a big ugly lateral file that had been in my basement for over ten years!!  No one wanted it on FB so Craigslist free stuff came to the rescue.  It had held DVDs for all of that time but most of those have been sold or shifted somehow.  I had to move the washer, dryer, and a full shelf of old books to make way for the dolly to take it out.  The guy had just enough room in the back of his pickup to squeeze the thing in!  He seemed like a pro at scooting giant heavy metal boxes.

You might wonder, after all these years, why I'm STILL doing this donating/selling dance.  I do wonder too, but I remember how there had to be literally about five times the books, DVDs, furniture and other accoutrements four years ago and it all starts to make sense!

Every day, give yourself a present!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Double Nickels

I had two swap meets (three really) last month and another one happening this weekend!  Twilight Rummage Sale took place just a week before the Frankensteins/Comix Thing conflagration and now I'm rolling in small bills. 

I should really start taking pictures of my tables again.  For so long I've just had DVDs as the main course but I've been bringing more offbeat junk so I can make room for more crap.  This time at Twilight I had, among other random things: lovely old framed pastel drawing of sail boats, Elmer the Rainbow Elephant stuffed toy, and vintage silk scarves.  I ended up giving away Elmer to a cute little kid who kept coming by to pick him up.  I later saw Elmer getting a free ride in the kid's mom's hoodie hood.  Best swap meet memory ever!

For the Frankensteins show I brought a load of original comic book art, which sold super fast!  I had an awesome day!   I always seem to have a lot of stuff for each show.  I don't know where it comes from, it just keeps appearing in my basement. 

I have been forcing myself to clean my office, which has sadly been a big dumping space for a lot of things that had no permanent home.  The turning point began, really, with putting those hooks in my living room closet.  Because bags belong near the coats, right?  I got several sets of  cheap plastic shelving from my parents' place that turned out to be perfect closet sorters.  Much better than the hanging shoe holders I was using for sweaters.  Now the office closet has my art supplies standing upright and ready for use.  I gave away an end table with drawers on the Buy Nothing page last night.  I had nothing against the table, just no great place to put it.  It had been standing in the middle of the room since I moved it out of my bedroom last year.  I also went through a lot of my little decorative keepsakes to sell or give away.  My big plan for this office is to remove the carpet at last so the hardwood floor shows.

I saw this guy a couple nights ago.  So great!!!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Door Hooks and Your Growth Mindset

Don't underestimate the power of a good bathrobe-style hook for storing stuff.  I did and I now see I made a mistake.  Hooks are excellent for keeping stuff from forming a heap on the floor.  They are especially good, in my opinion, for using on the inside of a closet door, like so:


Don't use a nail; they can catch on fabrics.  Also, things that hang from nails put stress on the surface behind it, potentially causing damage.  If your interior doors are like mine, then they're the hollow-core wooden ones and they don't have enough thickness for an embedded nail.  The screws that hold a hook in place provide that extra contact for secure hold, and the flange on the base of the hook gives extra support.

I went out to Fred Meyer to get more hooks last night.  You can get them in the "storage" section of the homewares department, but you'll get find nice ones in the hardware aisle where you get bulk screws and whatnot.  They're not only cheaper there, mine came two to a package for extra hooking power.

Perhaps now is a good time to state the benefits of having a few power tools around the house.  I have a Makita drill that has been one of the best gifts of a lifetime.  Remember when my bed crapped out?  I'd still be sleeping on an air mattress if I didn't have the drill to brace it up again.

OK, I know my previous post clearly slows a photo of nails holding up my laundry rack.  I'm about to fix that with my score from yesterday, smartass.

Let me add that I used a Marie Kondo trick for my tote bags on the closet door there.  I put them inside the ones that are hanging.  It's better than slinging them over the back of a kitchen chair.
This is what you get if you search "totebag" in Giphy.com
 All right, I think I've exhausted this subject matter.  Stay organized and don't get murdered!




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Forgotten Silver

I have a month to prepare for the next Frankenstein's/Comix Thing fracas.  Comic book related matter has been presenting itself in surprising ways.


Like this stuff - I totally forgot I had set this aside to sell.  I had a lot of things in front of the bookcase so I wasn't paying attention to what was on the shelves.  I have a feeling these will find someone to love them.




Only a couple of the titles available!!
 I have a lot of original art too.  I have no idea what it's worth at this point.  But it doesn't belong stacked in a basement.  Someone made this art for someone else to reproduce, distribute and enjoy.

I made good on my goal to clean up that corner of my living room and now you can see the fruit of my labors:

 ...and I made wall space for the laundry rack!

Outta the way, jerkass!











Thursday, February 23, 2017

Well-Sugared

In my ongoing sleep-improvement project I've resorted to a last resort: I'm finally cutting back on all caffeine.  It was on my 2016 to-do list to stop drinking coffee but I don't really want to, especially since I almost never drink alcohol or soda as it is.  I dreaded the withdrawal headaches.  I'm hacking it by filling my cup about 1" full with coffee, filling the rest with almond milk, and reheating.  I've been sleeping a little bit better than before - when I get to bed on time, that is.
Call the midwives - I need emergency Tetley's administration pleaseandthankyou

I've been donating a lot of stuff to the VVA these last few weeks.  On Sunday afternoons and evenings I do a lot of house work and tidying around the place and I make little piles of things that have to go!  This week it's DVDs.  I seem to have a lot of hit movies (like Pearl Harbor, gross) and no one wants them at swap meets. Buh-bye!
Lamp Uno
Lamp Dos
 I'm also using a Facebook page called Buy Nothing Portland which is specific to my neighborhood.  You can post a picture to give away an item, or you can ask for an item, but trades are not allowed.  I have antique lamps (see above) that I've wanted to get rid of for ages, but I feel guilty about dumping them at Goodwill.  Already I have takers that are thrilled to get them.  Win-win!!

I took this picture of the problem corner in my living room and I'm going to make this my project for the week.  One of my big ideas is to make a way to hang the laundry drying rack when it's folded up.  I'm planning to find room in the staircase region.

Ever since my mom died last month I've been in a fog when I want to write.  I sometimes feel unable to keep up on some of my adult responsibilities, but I'm a little better this week.  I made a post a few weeks ago that I took down, in case you don't know what's going on. I hope to have another update soon, complete with pictures, so keep coming back.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Last Trash Heap on the Left

The weather has been total crap for a few days now and I can hardly remember what day it is.  Work was closed for a couple weekdays and I came in to work on some days off, so it's no wonder.  I actually love snow, but I hate how Portland throws up its hands when we get it.

The overabundance of indoor time has given me opportunity to do some long overdue tidying.  I went through most of the jumble on the floor of my office, and recycled/shredded a nice bundle of papers and things.  I rearranged my CDs so I'd have more room for the ones I really want to keep, and made plans to say goodbye to the ones I don't.  Pretty soon I'll be able to vacuum the floor.

On Saturday I am renting a car for the Twilight Rummage Sale and to visit my dad, but also I'm going to make a nice round of large-scale donations.  Friends of the Library, SCRAP and Far West Fibers are all going to see my silly face this weekend.  I'm going to need some cardboard boxes.