Please Tell Me This Is Normal. #7

I went for a jog today around lunch time. After I ran past this one lady, I thought, “She smells like an estate sale.” Not sure if I’m asking if I’m normal, or she is, but either way, I love estate sales. Especially the ones with old records, low prices, and extremely odd items, for instance, see picture below.

Antique Geeks: My Adventures in Estate Sales

My friend Megan and I are self-proclaimed geeks. We’re part of Generation X which we fit into for the most part. But I was born two decades late because I love music and furniture from the 1960s and 1970s. Megan prefers the 1950s and 1980s. We both agree, though, the less expensive, the better so this morning we ventured out to a few estate sales. Follow along in the form of a “how-to” guide as our adventures brought us all over the city looking for the best Nashville has to offer. If you’re on time, you’re late. If the estate sale begins at 9:00am, it’s completely fine to get there in the 8 O’Clock hour, unless they specifically say not to. A lot of times the good stuff could get picked over before you even get there, so whether it helps to take an early-morning shower or support your local coffee shop with a cup to kick off the day, start early.

Coffee from the hometown Starbucks

What exactly are you planning here, sir? To make best use of time and gas, plan out a route before you leave the house. A lot of time will be spent in the car which is fine, but it’ll pay off if you’re not backtracking from sale to sale. Most estate sales list addresses so make your GPS unit earn it’s keep. Also, be prepared to pay via cash. Some sales don’t accept any other form of payment. 

I am a rock, I am an island. As a loner myself, I typically don’t seek out company, but there are a few convincing reasons to bring someone along when you go estate saling. Most importantly, your companion can tell you if what you like is actually hideous. Trust me, that’s invaluable. They can also spot you some cash if you run out and there’s a wood carving of an owl that you just can’t live without. Sure the lyrics “I am a rock, I am an island” are cool, but come one, call up your buddy and bring ’em along.

Keep your eyes on the prize. If you’re looking for something specific at estate sales, it’s important to keep that in mind. Without a doubt, you’re going to see some cool things. You’re going to see some things you never thought you’d see. Many times you’ll see something and think to yourself, “Oh yes, I’ve always needed one of these,” when in reality you don’t. A good philosophy here is to ask yourself, “Will this look like junk in my house?” If the answer is yes, maybe, or probably, don’t buy it. One truth that fits here is that if you don’t love it in the store, you won’t love it at home so try to stick to what you know you want to buy but at the same time, be open to buying stuff that’s just downright cool. For instance, I like collecting bottles so at the second estate sale I found a great bottle from Korea. It had a root inside it. My friend Megan found books she likes and a few great records. Beware of the fanny pack. If you see people wearing fanny packs, be offensive in your shopping. Whatever you’re interested in, hold on to it until you’ve made up your mind. If you set it down, chances are a fanny pack will come snatch it up like a hungry wolf.

Respect your surroundings. Old dinner plates. Old silverware. Old homes. Old people. If you’re looking for the latest IKEA home furnishings, estate sales are not for you. Just think to yourself, why is this sale happening? More often than not, the person living there died of old age. You don’t know who of the family is there, so be mature, don’t criticize the things you see, and spend some cash! Whether you buy a little or fill up a U-Haul, “vintage” is the new “used” so this weekend check out a few estate sales. You may find what you’re looking for, but you’ll definitely find what you were never looking for.

The first mobile phone. Ever.

About Getting A New Air-Conditioner

Today I went home for lunch. Not an untypical event on a week day.

Since I became a dog owner, I go home to let my dog out of her crate for a little while.
Today was different though. Attention was focused on my home’s teenage air-conditioner.
The life expentancy of an air-conditioner is about 15 years. Mine’s defying all odds. Today it took a turn for the worse, though.
I still have heat, but I think the whole air-conditioning part (meaning: cold air) is only a sweet memory.

Like a rich divorced doctor, I think I’ll be exchanging this with a newer, better looking replacement.

Volume 3: Sharing A Yard With Dog.

My beagle Piper likes to chase rabbits. I like to watch her chase rabbits. Sometimes I like to chase her. She likes to be chased. And this chasing is fun for us when it is fun for us. When I get home in the afternoon we may enjoy a good run around the yard. Not so much early in the morning. Mostly later in the afternoon is when these chases go down. I’m chasing her not to catch her, just to be playful, all because the back yard is fenced in and I have little to no concern of her running away.FLASHback! Piper and I had been together for about a month, mid December to mid January. I learned very quickly that I needed a fence because I didn’t like going outside with her every time she needed to. And I bet she sure as heck didn’t like me staring at her while she had her personal time out there. But I felt it was a must. The second I took my eyes off her, she’d be gone in the woods like a wild maniac beagle! So most of the time spent together was me saying, “Piper do this, Piper don’t eat that.”Claustraphobia was setting in and I knew I needed space. See, most people think fenced-in backyards are for the dog! Wrong. This fence was for me. We both benefit from it, though; I have some me time, which you know from volume 2 is very important, and she can roam around relatively unsupervised.Piper in the snow with the new fence.As I designed the layout of the fence, I decided it would be fun to include a woodsy area for Piper. An area behind my house that has some undergrowth, a few trees, etc. so she could explore. Much more exciting than grass only.  

FLASHforward TO CURRENT TIME! In our 439th installment of “Chase me! Come on, chase me!” a lengthy holdout transpired. I was trying to coax Piper inside the house so I could leave for work. She must’ve thought “come here” meant “go there” because she kept running to her hiding place, The Forest of You Can’t Get Me (a.k.a. the woodsy area). I ran in, she ran out. I ran out, she ran back in. A chess match of chasing. And I stink at chess. She was clearly winning. I don’t know if it was a full moon or what, but she was faster, quicker, feistier and had impressive tactical manuevers that defeated every attempt I made at catching her. Finally appealing to her curiosity, I pretended I wanted to show her something. Pointing down to the ground, I said, “Piper, look here! What is it!?” When she got close enough, bam! I corraled her in. Check mate! Then she wiggled out of my kung-fu grip and we did it all again.  

I was late for work.  

Piper as a puppy. Such an awesome dog!

This is volume 3 of a series titled, “I Own You. I Own You. A Look Into Who Owns Who, the Master and Puppy.” Check back often for the next in this ongoing series!

What In The K%!$#tchen Is Going On?

Here is my kitchen on a random weekday.

This image reveals 10 of my characteristics.

Let’s start with the obvious. You probably noticed the globe on the counter and the many bottles above the white cabinets.

Characteristic #1: Frugal and delights in the small victories of finding stuff like this at thrift stores, on beaches, or in the woods. Next is the attention-grabbing blue cup full of water. Characteristic #2: Personal health. Drinking water is a healthy thing to do (but what you can’t see is the pizza in the freezer, so this is an ongoing battle). Along the picture’s bottom edge you can see the corner of a dog crate. My beagle: I can’t control her, I can only hope to contain her…. in the crate. Ok, that’s not totally true. She’s a puppy and already knows how to “halt,” “sit,” and get in her cage on command. Bam! Characteristic #3: Leader of the pack. She’s the dog, I’m the master. And I’ll let you know when she believes that.

Now the not-so-obvious… to the left of the sink, below the cabinet, is the back end of a Maglite. This weapon is also used as a flashlight. Characteristic #4: Resourceful. Scanning down to the dishwasher you’ll see tape on the corners. I’ll take the tape off as soon as I stop buying stuff with tape on it. Characteristic #5: Procrastinator. Near the globe is a hardly-noticeable black phone cord and three, yes, three, power outlets. Characteristic #6: Powerful. With the power cord and multiple outlets, I can charge my Motorola Droid anytime and anywhere within those 4 feet. Near the stove, to the left of the wood figurines, is a small shark jaw. You’ve heard of having the “eye of the tiger”? What about having the “mouth of the shark”? Double bam! Sharp teeth are much more effective than a soft eyeball, I’m just saying. Characteristic #7: Sharp, not soft. Paper towels. The El Camino of the kitchen. Is it paper or a towel? Yes! Double threat and a triple bam! Characteristic #8: Double threat guy. Just left of the stove is a hot pad hanging from the cabinet knob. So obviously, characteristic #9: Hot. Lastly, the dishes in the sink. If you think this fits into the “procrastinator” characteristic (not washing dishes) or the “frugal” characteristic (not using dishwasher) you’d be wrong. Characteristic #10: Inclusive. See? Now my puppy can feel like part of the team.

 

“Clean the dishes! Gooooood giiiiiirl!”