Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Possessed By Socks

They say your possessions possess you. If so, then I'm a good candidate for possession by socks. Today I went through lots of my clothes. I filled a bag for the trash, one for the thrift store. I found enough socks for a lifetime. These are still in the packaging. They were either gifts or purchases that I haven't gotten around to wearing even once. I found enough hiking socks for a hike across the country. Plenty of dressy socks. However, the other day I had to buy some short tennis socks because I was running out of ones without extreme wear.

But. I will not be buying any socks for a while! I also officially have all the shorts, T-Shirts, polos and jeans that I'll need for the next decade. I'm pretty well outfitted in the undie department, too. As long as I can stay my current fat size.

I have thought of other funny titles I probably won't use in this line. Like 'Gap the Woman' and 'The Woman who Thought Her Life was a Hat.' (I have enough caps to choke a horse but a lot of the favorite ones have seen too much sweat.)

I really must throw out more stuff. But some progress was made today.

And Lest You Think There is No Connection... my reading material, I forgot to mention that the term quark comes from Finnegan's Wake. At least that is so according to Stephen Hawking and my online dictionary. I think I first encountered quark, my physics IQ not being so well-developed, as a soft cheese product in Europe.

Having caught up on my newspaper reading, by the way, I'm reduced to reading news that's no more than 24 hours old. This isn't the same as reading about the price of gas going up when it's really going down or reading about the Wimbledon final when the U.S. Open begins or drifting back to when people cared how The Sopranos ended. Reading old magazines and newspapers is really a trip. I am reading an article in an ancient (1989, I think) New Yorker in the bathroom. It's about the Oxford Dictionary dynasty.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Reading List Again

I might have mentioned that I was reading "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." I finished that. It is an interesting novel slipping in and out of narrative to discuss philosophy and the creation of character. I might have mentioned I was reading James Joyce's "Ulysses." That's not moving along too well. It's been displaced by trying to read my three daily and a couple of weekly newspapers. Trying to rectify that. I've been listening to "A Brief History of Time" in the car. The thing is we have all these books on cassette tapes and that media is being phased out. Just seems I should listen to a few of them before giving them away. I have passed "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" along which I finished a few weeks ago. I'm about a third of the way through "Ulysses." Maybe I'll finish by Christmas.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

House Fluff

I've mentioned before the problem of cleaning out thirty years of accumulations of little 'house fluff.' The little pens, pencils, clips, keys, gadgets, tools and stuff that accumulates in drawers and old cups. This shot is of one of those little trays inside a drawer in my office that's designed to receive such stuff. I can see a manicure knife, a pen, a key (to my father's garage), a spare battery for our digital cameras, a gadget to read flash memory cards, pencil lead, tape for a label maker, some binder clips. What looks like matches is really a match-type box with a tiny pad of paper inside. This scene is repeated all over the house. In drawers in the upstairs office, in trays in the walk-in closet, in the kitchen. Some one is going to have to reduce the amount of this stuff if we are ever going to get out of this house without eighteen boxes of pens and paper clips. See here and here .

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bury the Hachet

A week or so ago I noticed a hatchet in the garage. Now we have done a pretty thorough-going cleaning of the garage and had it painted. My first thought was: "I don't think we will need a hatchet in the condo. My second thought was: "What have I ever needed a hatchet for even here?"

A couple of days ago a friend of mine who is beginning a series of three moves that will eventually land her in the same downtown high rise we'll be in, said "I found a hatchet and thought 'I'm not going to need that in the condo!'" What are the odds?

In the picture above you can see a few other things that survived the great cleaning sweep. Some booster cables, a huge pipe wrench, some sheet metal left from some recent repair job. I'm sure we will have to clean out the garage again before we sell the house next spring. But I don't think it will be as bad as it was before this round of cleaning.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tear Down

One of our Realtors (a mother and daughter pair will represent us on the house sale next year) suggested that our house will probably be torn down. I can certainly see that happening. It was more, obvious, however that this house a few doors away would be demolished. Who knew Habitat for Humanity had a service to do this and at the same time salvage materials.

It's hard to think of our house as a tear down, but it's a good-sized lot and I guess I could see someone with enough resources gutting it or even taking it down. It certainly puts all the touch-up paint and cosmetic things in perspective, though.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dark Mood

My life is going well as the summer winds down. We have a few social things going on but some free nights, too. We've finished with one volunteer duty. The parents are rocking along, the old frail dog is somewhat stable.

So why the dark mood? I'm just in one of those troughs where the downsizing effort seems daunting. And the financial markets are worrying. It's funny how we can be see-sawed by sub-prime loans when we are debt-free. (I just this moment saw a commercial for Countrywide Home Loans offering home loans, easy as pie. Aren't they bankrupt?)

So, dark thoughts are being banished. After I've sold those off to Wall Street types and exercised myself into a fog of good internally-produced drugs, I'm going to make some headway on getting rid of stuff and organizing stuff. (Did I mention that the Realtors was over here shaking their heads over the mess yesterday?)

Picture is compliments of Blackmail on South Congress. Black moods for sale. The little neon inside, visible if you click on the pic to blow it up, says 'Think Noir.'

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It Lurks Under the Stairs

One of the spots that I need to get to in the downsizing effort is a little 'under the stairs' storage we have in our storage room. We built FFP an office above the storage room in back of the garage some years ago. The whole room is sort of storage (filing cabinets and shelves and flat files from the business, other stuff we store) but they made a door to access under the stairs for extra storage. Lurking in there are lots of things that need sorting. Among them are boxes of bendable, posable figures. I once collected them. Don't ask. When this picture was taken (2001), I had removed them from my office at work (yeah, I used to work) and stored them in a storage unit we had. The storage unit at the time had nothing else BUT these boxes. We'd rented it for my parents to migrate stuff to Austin they didn't want the movers handling and we had gotten all their stuff in a house. I'd put these boxes in the storage unit. But it seemed silly to keep the unit for some rubber toys with wires inside. So I moved them to that spot under the stairs. Since most of them have languished there except the Christmas-themed ones. I've trotted them out a few times for the holidays. I may have sorted and trimmed the contents, but I know that a few cubic feet of bendable, posable figures (yes, some Gumbys and Pokeys and lots of other themes) are under the stairs. Will I have the courage to attack this? Or, when I'm ready to move will I be tempted to put these in the tiny (43 square feet) storage unit at the condo?

Collections are sinister things, aren't they?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Please excuse my absence, I've been....

...celebrating a birthday for days on end. And cleaning out my pantry. And exercising. What? You say that given that meal, I need to exercise. Well, it was my buddy's food. And he couldn't eat it either and took half home. It was a lamb and lobster surf and turf. I got a piece of seared foie gras as the size of my palm. I ate it all. So much more appetizing than my pantry. Lumpy brown sugar, years-old rice (which was sealed in tupperware so probably could have been eaten, but not by me), questionable cans. And when did we corner the market on anchovies? Yeah, I'd rather eat out. We've tapped the wine collection in the almost week-long celebration, too. (An 80's Silver Oak, 1990 Phelps Insigna, stuff like that.) Yeah, I've been having a ball. But I've had to work out extra hard not to gain weight. So it's off to the country club with me. And then back to that pantry. We aren't going to collect food like that in the condo. Won't be room. And I can't say that I'll be sad.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


In all my sorting and slicing and dicing of souvenirs and archives, at least I haven't had to worry about an autograph collection. I never was into worrying famous people for their signatures. I have had to save a few letters and postcards which made me nostalgic for a real person vis-a-vis their handwriting as well as their words. The picture is of Billy Gibbons' signature on a giant decorated guitar that is currently on Congress Avenue.

And how's the downsizing going? Thanks for asking. Not badly, but it's making me blue, I think. I gave away seven or eight cubic feet of stuff, though, in the last week.