Friday, February 17, 2023

Bags and Rags...

and maybe boxes, too. That ratty dish towel or maybe an old bath towel. An undershirt with holes. You hate to throw away a good rag. That perfectly good grocery bag. That cloth tote. That old briefcase or backpack you used to carry. You could put things inside it. And carry it. And of course here's a great box, a perfect size for, well, something. A bunch of giveaway First and Business class toiletry kits. Some with tiny tubes of toothpaste or other toiletries. It's hard to part with things that could be useful in a pinch. They put pens in those freebie bags (using the term loosely, those seats on the plane are expensive). How many pens do we have around here? How many actually still have ink?

Sometimes I think I will have reduced my possessions to just these things. Rags for just in case and containers with nothing in them. Or some miscellaneous possibly useless things. And supplies of pens and staples and paper goods. A giant bag of rubber bands, gradually hardening and cracking.

Oh and masks. I still wear one in our elevators at my high rise when I remember. But I have settled on one kind: a disposable KN95. So there are a bunch around of other types. But I should keep them just in case. Right?

I suppose, really, if you could whittle things down to the essentials then it wouldn't be so bad to have supplies of "just in case" stuff. (Yeah, I have bottles of water, too.) Instead, I also have clothes I don't wear, books and magazines I've read (and lots I haven't), and a lot of CDs and DVDs. I did purge a bunch of CDs to the thrift store but kept a lot of jazz ones because I like to look at the liner notes. Or even play them directly instead of off my old, ahem, iPod! And we have collections. Glassware, paintings, geegaws, etc. But more on that later.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 T-Shirts

One day I was looking for an Armadillo World Headquarters T-Shirt. It was purchased around 2013 when we had a party celebrating the anniversary of our first date. The AWH had been out of business for many years (1980) but the T-Shirts survived at Threadgill's Restaurant (both locations are now gone). Many memories surround both the original venue and the restaurant. We had our first date on Thanksgiving Night in 1975 at the Armadillo. We saw Marcia Ball and the Misery Brothers there that night. (We hired Marcia's current band for our party, too.) 

I was looking for the shirt because of a party we were invited to that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of some friends. We were instructed to dress like the '70s so I chose worn-out denim jeans and this T-Shirt marking an iconic Austin '70s spot with a denim shirt and a few pins. 

I have tried to get rid of T-Shirts but there are a dozen or more in my drawers. Some evoke memories, and some are merely good to throw on to cover the body for cleaning or exercising. I keep a lot of things because they would be good to wear to do some dirty work or in a pinch. As my hiking boots wear out, inside and out, I replace them, but, in a pinch, the old ones would do for a comfortable water-resistant, and stable pair. They don't hold memories as much as the T-Shirts. But some do. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

If I were to write a memoir...

 I'd like to know what approach I'd take. Chronological? By topic? (Relationships, influences from people and events, objects, school experiences, jobs, attire and hairstyle, trips.) More spaced-out stream of consciousness? Sometimes I think I should write something like "my life in x objects." The other day,  after finally shutting off a landline I've had for almost fifteen years, I filled a large sack with wired phones and portable phone connection gadgets. Many such phones have passed through my hands, including some with rotary dials.

I've decided to spend a few minutes a day pondering these questions. Because, if I'm ever going to write a memoir, I should start thinking about it! I will have my diamond jubilee this year.

Last year I reviewed some old paper journals and notes (from September through early December 1972) when I went off to tramp around Europe with a Eurail Pass and no reservations. I chronicled this a bit on Facebook and some of my (few) followers were amused. I was surprised by some of the thoughts and activities I'd written down but didn't remember thinking or doing. There are a few "artifacts" of that trip remaining. A lambswool scarf I bought and still have and wear. An acrylic lap blanket celebrating the 1972 Olympics. (Which I didn't attend. I arrived in Munich a bit after the event. I think I bought the blanket at a factory doing a close-out that some friends discovered.) Somewhere there is an Oktoberfest poster. (I did attend that.) Memories in things. There are some old ticket stubs and maps in a box somewhere. Some were scanned. See below. That trip had a lasting impression on me and formed me in many ways. I'm not in contact with any of the people I met during that journey, but some were definitely an influence on me.