When The Going Gets Tough, Go Shopping for Used Stuff

I’m telling you, it works every time.

If you’re tired of reading about gun control, homophobia, or anything political, this post is for you.

It has been a busy few days for me, and a good deal of my time has been spent in used stuff stores – not the Columbus Antique Mall, but three out of the six St. Vincent de Paul thrift shops in town (Dig-N-Save, Willy Street, Odana; might go to the Stoughton one later this week). What I found, though, was some really great crap for sale. Here’s some of what I saw.

  • A Berta Hummel-themed glass service set. Because the world just needs more Berta Hummel. Or something like that.
  • An antique baby carriage. My first thought? You could plant some flowers in it.
  • A hobby horse. Who wouldn’t love a conversation piece like that?
  • A set of four floral drinking glasses. Upon further examination, they were actually just weirdly shaped candle holders, I think.
  • A wooden tiki mask with a crooked smile. Nightmare fuel, pure and unleaded.
  • A coffee mug from the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas saying “Kathy” on it. It would be very interesting to have a set of coffee mugs from different places with random peoples’ names on them. I already have my Las Vegas “Bernie” cup, which I wrote a post about awhile back when I found it, but I already have a cabinet full of coffee mugs and don’t need one more.

And the piece de resistance…

  • A teddy bear stuck inside a lemon costume. I just couldn’t walk by it without smiling or laughing, so guess who’s now sitting with all his cousins on my windowsill.

Oh, and yay for my 35,000th new flag visitor, from Papua New Guinea. Here’s to 35,000 more!


I Own So Much Crap

The past few days have been dominated by a combination of worrying about the conference and packing up my apartment. And somewhere in there, trying not to think about those things.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I realized today that I just own so much crap. That’s really what it boils down to.

I have nine boxes of books packed, most of which I have not read. That’s legit stuff, along with my clothes and toiletries.

But the rest? Mostly crap.

I have papers with notes scribbled on them, papers without notes scribbled on them, and envelopes I’m keeping for the return address. I have magazine and journals that are probably accessible online, and that I rarely, if ever, look in. I should do that. I have half-empty boxes of incense sticks and matches. I have half-empty containers of paper plates and cups. I have a broken lamp and a vacuum cleaner that hasn’t been used in over a year since I haven’t had carpeting. I have stuffed animals and pillows.

And so, so many Post-It notes. Different shapes, different sizes, different colors…I always seem to have them.

The rest? Probably just garbage.

Oh, moving.



Today, I worked on cleaning my apartment in preparation for packing up items for storage. I realized I have a lot of stuff. Most of it is crap, but useful-ish crap, like class notes, scripts, and mementos. Some of it is disposable; if I have deemed an item useless, I throw it out. This rarely happens, but when it does, it’s usually an extra copy of a script or notes from a paper that I wrote two semesters ago. One item, however, seems to keep piling up no matter how much I try to dispose of it.


Bloomsbury. Methuen Drama. TCG. Routledge.

These are the names that peer out at me from under the crap on the coffee table, to the box next to the couch. Catalogs from up to five years back. Some are even duplicates. I know that I threw a few away, yet more still keep coming back to haunt me. I am enticed by the pretty pictures on the covers. I am titillated by the titles inside. I highlight, ear mark, and sometimes record titles in a spreadsheet on my computer before throwing them away, yet I still find more at the bottoms of boxes.

And at ATHE, I know I’m going to pick up like five more, because they are free and allow me to live in a world of fantasy where I can afford all the books.