Monday, November 29, 2010

Say it ain't so!

I'm somewhat of a conspiracy buff, especially when the evil forces of The Illuminati are involved. Thanks to the wonders of the internets, I now know who is under their malicious control, and, therefore, should be shunned and feared. Quite simply, everyone from the President to the Pope to Mickey Mouse to Beyonce is an agent for the Illuminati. (And if they've gone after Beyonce, that shows how desperate they must be getting!)

But...I do have to admit, I was stunned, shocked, and struck dumb with disbelief to find out that STAN LEE is on their side! Spidey an agent of the Illuminati? Say it ain't so, Stan! Say it ain't so!

But the proof is all right there for anyone to see:

If you see it on the internet, it's true, right? Especially if there's a video.

I guess now we know the real reason for the Lee-Kirby split all those years ago. Jack would never hang with an agent of the Illuminati! I wonder if Ditko knows about this?

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Black Friday sales this year were double last year's, but the real surprise came the next day when I had my second highest sales day ever.  What makes that so neat is that I also had my third highest day the week before.  So, I'm actually looking at November being my third or fourth highest month for the year (depending on the next two days).  Which is pretty cool and gives me hope for December as well.

Interestingly enough, none of the potential gift items I've stocked the booth with have sold yet.  The sales are all based on holiday decor items (some new, some used, and some vintage) or on items that are not holiday-specific.

More to come, I'm sure.

UPDATE:  Based on yesterday's sales, November is now my third highest month for the year.  I don't think it'll take the number two slot, but I'm not ruling it out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ain't it good to be back home again?

Sometimes this old house feels like a long lost friend.

We spent the last few days in Arkansas, visiting Keith's family.  Now we're home to begin preparations for our own Thanksgiving feast.

The trip was long, but mostly uneventful.  I did sample a few thrifts in the area, but no major scores.  One that we went to is actually a major chain of thrifts, but it left me unimpressed.  I did finally get to meet Keith's favorite cousin.  We checked out one of the strangest bookstores I've ever been in.

All in all, it was a good trip.  Keith's family, especially his mom, are great people and I love spending time with them.  I wish the distance didn't make it so infrequent.

We also bought some awesome wine.

And now, we're home.  The cats are clingy like they always are when we've been gone several days.  I've got to go to the booth tomorrow.  I had the second biggest sales day I've ever had while we were gone, so I'm betting it's a mess.  Sales have been slow so far this week, as more folks concentrate on Thanksgiving prep.  I'm bringing a bunch of  new (as in not used) items in hopes of attracting some Black Friday weekend action.

Last year, my sales tanked in November and didn't really start picking up again until March.  I made my rent every month, and a little over, but it was like half what I was pulling in the the summer.  I hoping some better "gifty" things will keep things up for me right now.  Lots of people don't want to buy second hand items for gifts.

We'll see how it goes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I don't care if it rains or freezes...

Stopped by my favorite thrift store a couple of weeks ago with a particular purchase in mind.


I'd been watching it for ages, waiting for it to cross the half-price threshold. It had been in the half-price zone for almost a week, but the day the new half-price tag colors started at that store, I bought a bunch of other stuff and knew I wouldn't have been able to manage the picture, plus three bags of stuff on my bike. The three bags I could handle with no problem, but I thought it would be best to leave the pic.

So, as soon as I got the chance, I rushed back to the store and was overjoyed to find it was still there. It's a perfect fit for me. First, it's religiously-themed, which is one of the self-appointed niches for my booth. Secondly, it's done in a style that appeals to a lot of Hispanic Catholics, and there are large numbers of Latino families that shop in our location. To paraphrase the Pawn Stars dude: I want this thing for my booth.

I did buy a few other small things along with it, but only a few, so they didn't really pose a transport problem this time around. I decided that I would stop tempting fate, buy the thing before someone else did, and then figure out how to get it home on my bike. The problem came when the store didn't have any kind of bag that the pic would fit in.

First try: Hold under one arm, steer with one hand. Not real good at one-handed steering. FAIL

Second try: Hold with one hand while clutching the handle bar. Not nearly enough of a grip on the pic to hold it. FAIL

Third try: Loop finger through little hoop (very little hoop) for hanging pic on wall. Try to hold onto handle bar too. Little hoop nearly tears finger off. FAIL

In exasperation, I stop the bike and lay the pic across the handle bars to take a break and ponder this some more. Then, I realize that it lays nicely across my handle bars! With a little repositioning, I can lay it to where it doesn't interfere with my knees, steering, or braking, yet is held down by my palms. SUCCESS!

I was afraid the image might get scratched, so I laid it face up. After about a half a block, I realized I was getting some odd looks from passing cars. Obviously, these people have never traveled with Jesus before. It takes a commitment! No mere bumper sticker for me!

Honestly, it was a little like this:

All together now:

I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Layin' 'cross the handle bars of my bike!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fun Finds: Vincent!

I've pretty much decided that I'm not cut out to do weekly run downs of my yard saling and thrifting adventures complete with pics and what not. There are plenty of folks out there who do this and do it very well, but it's just not my cup of tea.

I'd much rather focus on truly fun/unusual finds and interesting people/stories instead. Since I've been doing the latter with "True Tales of Yard Sales" from time to time, it's time to bring the former into play.

So, welcome to the inaugural edition of Fun Finds! Like "True Tales," this will be an occasional feature, which will pop up whenever I run across something that warrants the attention.

One of the things I love about the merch hunt for the booth is the oddball items that crop up from time to time. I'm immediately drawn to them, because I like to keep my space as unique and distinct as possible from the other 400+ ones in our building. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't, but it's the fun finds out there that help set me apart.

Another way to judge a fun find is the temptation factor. The more unusual something is, the more I tend to be tempted to hang on to it. Fortunately, being a dealer has tempered that urge considerably. Now, it seems, I get the same kind of kick I would have gotten out of buying something for myself from providing it for someone else.

And that brings us to.....Vincent!

A Van Gogh sliding tile puzzle! Who would have thought that such a wonderful thing could even exist? And yet there it was, sitting in the thrift store, waiting for me to claim it.

It's really quite cool. I'm betting that there were others made for other works of art as well. What a fun idea! I toyed around with working this one and getting the image perfectly aligned, but I decided against it, since when it hits the booth, people are going to play with it and mess it up. Besides, I kind of like the way its arranged right now. It's got a cubist feel to it, like Vincent as done by Pablo.

I'd been waiting for a while for the right item to start "Fun Finds" with, and when I saw him, I knew that he was the one.

And in his honor, here's some musical accompaniment:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I guess it’s time for some words and some thoughts about stuff that’s going on. I’m in the lull between my birthday celebrations and Thanksgiving madness. My brother is going to be here tonight to deal with some of Mom's stuff. We leave for Keith's mother's in a few days. I spent most of last week house sitting. It's not really been that much of a "lull."

One thing I learned from my mother is that your birthday really should stretch until the next weekend, which is the way I’ve always tried to do it. My typical birthday modus operandi of hitting every thrift in town, and then some, had a different twist this year. First off, I had no money. Secondly, my thrifting these days is all about finding stuff for the booth, not for me, although I still do pick up a few things here and there that are not intended for resale. Due to these factors, I opted to hit a selected group of thrifts, as opposed to all of them.

I also took a short, but special, trip last weekend. I’ll write more about that later.

Anyway, back to the updates. The bright, crisp days of Fall are upon us. So are the cool, overcast days of Fall. It’s time to break out the outer wear, test the heater, put the warm blanket on the bed, and buy the fixings for hot chocolate and chili.

This is my favorite time of year, and not just because of the old birthday. It’s the time to cram your last days of outdoor activities in before the cold weather starts driving us all indoors. The upcoming holiday season puts a feeling of anticipation and excitement in the air. Spices and baking are eminent. Get ready.

The sunny days are bright enough to make you happy and active, the briskness is such a nice change from heat and humidity, and the overcast days are gloomy enough to bring on some melancholy, but not real sadness. It's like a seasonal respite between the miserable, sticky last days of summer and the upcoming cold and achiness of the winter.

I'm enjoying it immensely.

We went camping last weekend in October. It'll probably be my last trip for the year. I'm not a cold weather camper. Keith will go in the winter, but I'll opt to stay indoors where the warm things are.

We had a good time. Finally getting some rain in the area means that we're finally getting some bursts of fall color. It was cool enough that our pot of chili and spiced wine made the perfect evening combo. It was just a lot of fun.

I've discovered a new use for the blog: dropping hints for gifts! Both the Old 97's CD and the Belinda Carlisle memoir made it my way for my birthday. Pretty cool. Thanks, Keith. I wasn't intending for it to work that way, but it's a nice surprise.

The Old 97's are excellent as always. Saving the book for trip reading. Will have more to say on both later.

The election here was a nail-biter. We returned a strong, unabashedly liberal Democrat to the House, lost the chance to reclaim a Senate seat, and chose the first mayor in decades whose last name doesn't begin with an "A." I have some thoughts about the mayoral stuff for later, but I will say that it's so nice to know that the good people of my state chose to honor Jim Bunning by filling his congressional seat with someone equally as out of touch.

Got tons and tons to do around here before we leave. Hell, make that: before Danny gets here. It's going to be a wild week. I'm taking my laptop with me on the trip and I'll be making some updates from the road. I've got a lot planned for the rest of the year.

The one hard thing about Fall this year is not seeing Mom. We tended to see each other more at the end of the year than any other time due to the holidays. Keith and I always have a Thanksgiving for us here on Thanksgiving Day and another one a couple of days after for us and my mom. It was kind of weird planning only one feast the other day.

it was also strange not calling her on my birthday. Since I turned 40, I'd been calling her and telling her that she was now old enough to have a son who was whatever age I just turned. Couldn't do that this year. It's those little traditions that are all out of whack.

I'm still fighting the urge just about every day to pick up the phone and tell her that Bennie died. It's not right that she doesn't know. We've talked each other through pet deaths for years. She knew Bennie since her kitten days.

We got Bennie's ashes back from the vet and they did them up right. They are using a different company than before, so she came back in a small black velvet bag that had been placed in a nice red wooden box. I've always wanted to do something like that with Basil and Brianna's ashes, but have never been able to bear opening the cardboard boxes we got them back in. I'm glad Bennie was able to get the special treatment.

After fifteen or so years, ATT and I have parted ways on the email front. ATT was my first ISP in the early days. When we went to DSL, they weren't offering it in town yet, so Keith and I both switched to another company that did. I kept the ATT email going through a deal they have where you pay a smaller fee and all you have with them is an email address. I just didn't want to go through the hassle of changing it, given the number of places I used it.

Well, Thursday my email account was suspended because I forgot to update my billing card with them. I called the number they provided on their site to reinstate it and was told that I couldn't reinstate just an email account. I had to order full service. I explained that I didn't need service, just the email address. Person on the phone said they had never heard of that kind of arrangement and that there was no record of an account with my email on it in their system. That pissed me off, given that I'd been paying for almost ten years to keep that address.

So, I decided "to heck with them." It's time for a change. Which means that, on top of everything else, I'm also trying to notify folks and services with my new email address. I lost a lot of my info when the account was suspended, so if you're a correspondent of mine, leave me a note in the comments and I'll send you the new address.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Cosmic Balance Must Be Preserved!

Eddie-tor's note: I had this post prepped and scheduled several weeks ago, well before Bennie got sick and passed away. I thought about deleting it, but just couldn't. I edited the post a bit, but I want to let it stand as a tribute to her.

The Lords of Chaos and Order must stand in balance. If there is a Mean Kitty Song for Chiquito, then, lo, there must be a Sweet Kitty Song for Bennie. In her memory, at least.

Honestly, throughout her whole life, the only thing she ever did that she wasn't supposed to was pick on Brianna, our Himalayan. (And it was Basil, her sister, who always instigated that.) She was the most perfect kitty that ever existed.*

*except that she never learned how to cover her poop.

Friday, November 05, 2010

This one is for Chiquito!

Seriously, I'm crushed that somebody else came up with the idea first! There never, ever in the whole world was a combination of sweetness and total trouble, cutie pie and bad-ass, holy terror and adorable beyond measure like Chiquito. We keep waiting for the kitten to grow its way out of him, but it's been three years, and he shows no sign of letting up.

And the resemblance between him and the kitty in the video is uncanny!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The sweetest birthday treat of all!

So sweet, in fact, that it'll give you a toothache!

And today, I am 46, even if you really can't tell it by this post.

I'll be off doing some nom-nom-ing myself. I told Keith all I wanted for my birthday was Nutella crepes from IHOP. (Although, I might sneak some thrifting in as well.)

Happy day, all!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Another Serving of Birthday Treat!

Only John Prine could come up with a line like:

You come home late and you copme home early.
You come home big when you're feeling small.
You come home straight and you come home curly.
Sometimes you don't come home at all.

The man is pure songwriting genius.

The thing that really gets me abo;ut this clip is how shy Nanci Griffith seems to be. You can see the hero worship for Prine written all over her face. It gives the whole thing a kind of gentle sweetness.

By the way, this was made several years before she recorded the song with him on her Other Voices, Other Rooms CD.

Tomorrow is the big day!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Have another Birthday Treat!

If there's one thing that's always welcome at any impending birthday of mine, it's more Emmylou Harris. Here she's doing "Hello Stranger" a great traditional tune, with her old acoustic band, The Nash Ramblers.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Birthday Treats

Thursday is my birthday, so you all get the presents! Best gift I can think of to give you all is some Emmylou (of course!) singing with Johnny Cash, from his old TV show.

Enjoy some good old-fashioned Southern gospel from the Man in Black and the Goddess of Music!

I'll be back tomorrow with another birthday treat!