June 15th, 2005

flavored with age

Astonishing Moving Stories!

As you know if you're some kind of stalker, thaitea and I have to move out of our current apartment at the end of July. In aid of this, we're cleaning and packing early on so we can have a big moving sale sometime this month; it'll both make us a little extra jack for the move and get rid of a bunch of junk so we don't have to cart it from place to place.

Last night, we cleaned out our basement, getting rid of in the process a whole bunch of stuff (tattered clothes, expired medicine, six-year-old spices). One of the things we trashed was our old 27" TV set. There's something wrong with the picture tube, and I couldn't imagine anyone buying it after turning it on and seeing all the fucked-up white lines, so we just decided to leave it in the alley for anyone who wanted to pick it up. Astoundingly, it was still there this morning -- astounding because, this being Chicago, you can pretty much leave a 20-pound bag of shit in an alley and someone will come by and take it. Even more astoundingly, I almost killed myself getting the fucking thing down the stairs; either it weighed a lot more than I remember -- let's say about 500 pounds -- or age is catching up with me and I'm not the mighty mighty man I used to be.

Can it be? Is it possible I'm no longer the world's strongest asshole?
flavored with age

Speaking of my patio sale...

...I'm going to put a listing on Craigslist, in the Reader, and on my website. It will contain descriptions of everything that is for sale. Descriptions like this.

AUDIO COMPACT DISCS. Collected by a local oaf who gave no consideration to the possibility that saving money for retirement would be a better financial decision, this vast selection of popular (Keiji Haino), obscure (“The Beatles”), and toe-tapping (The Shaggs) music of the last 100 years is sure to delight young and old. Due to bizarre personality defects on the part of the former owner, these do not come in their original packaging, but they are still eminently listenable, and yours for, well, a song. Hundreds to choose from, $1/each.

COMPUTER MEMORY. Do you have a used Macintosh home computing system? Is it unable to remember its social security number? Are you willing to purchase memory upgrades that have been sitting in a dusty box in my basement for over two years? Take a chance. Your computer could be almost twice as fast (though still slow) for the price of a venti double Americano. $5 for two.

FLINTSTONES NOVELTY GLASSES. Imagine that the Flintsones were real. Imagine that they somehow managed to win the lottery. Imagine that, as a result, they replace the bone-and-hide drinking glasses they normally use for fine crystal replicas of the bone-and-hide drinking glasses they normally use. Now imagine no more, and buy instead! Perfect for nerds, pointless nostalgia enthusiasts, and cavemen with exquisite taste. $1/pair.

GERMAN-LANGUAGE “ILLUMINATI” CARDS. If you are like most people, you have a dear friend from Switzerland, Austria or Germany who greatly enjoys playing conspiracy-based collectible card games. So you know how hard they are to shop for! Well, worry no more: this is the ideal gift for the Nordic game nerd in your life. $2 for a full set plus a dumpload of blank cards.

“HIP” BLENDER. This perfectly functional blender is either an authentic antique or is trying very hard to convince us that it is. Real glass bowl, smooth space-age Bakelite frontispiece and quad blades that come within a few yards of being sharp all included. Perfect for serving frou-frou tropical drinks to your insufferable hipster friends. $2.50.

POSSIBLY BROKEN TAMAGOTCHI KNOCKOFF. Remember Tamagotchis? Come on, sure you do. They were the hottest gadget in the world for about ten minutes about a decade ago. Well, if you want to cash in on future nostalgia before it happens, buy this thing! It’s a fake gray-market Tamagotchi on a keychain, and if you can somehow pry it open without breaking it in order to replace the battery, perhaps it will bring joy to someone’s life again. Come on! Take a chance. 50¢.

PUNK ROCK SKATEBOARD. Whether you’re a hardcore grinder, a person with an annoying little brother, or an aging punk rocker desperately trying to recapture your faded youth, this is what you’ve been looking for. A sturdy Valtera Electrick-Flo festooned with stickers championing no-longer-extant punk bands and capable of supporting even the heftiest of sullen teens, this memorable antique, which once rolled alongside several members of Jodie Foster’s Army, can be yours for a mere $5.

TATTERED UNDERGARMENTS. Are you man enough to buy used underwear from the man who once wore them? Are you man enough to exchange real cash money for ragged bits of cloth that once touched someone else’s genital and excretory organs? Are you man enough to hand over your hard-earned jack for a fat man’s underpants while he sits there, smiling enigmatically? Then this is the item for you. 10¢/pair.

VIDEO CASSETTES. Before there were flimsy, easy-to-ruin DVDs, home video entertainment was conveyed by these bulky, easy-to-ruin VHS tapes. A wide selection available: incomprehensible Japanese animation, hardcore pornography, and a few popular movies from the mid-1990s, just before digital video discs became the norm. Buy a dozen and get a free soda! $1/each.

WORTHLESS COMPUTER COMPONENTS. Since the former owner went through computers like most people go through toilet paper, he managed to accumulate astonishing piles of hi-tech gewgaws. These include the useful and functional (wireless keyboard, contact mic), the ubiquitous and dull (optical mouse, network cable), and the completely useless (five-foot phone cords, SCSI plugs, full-up hard drives in bulky space-taking casings). Just the thing for someone who wants to build a really bad, slow, out-of-date PC from scratch. Nothing over $5 or under 10¢.