Saturday, January 30, 2010
I think all three of these past times have a commonality.
Each takes me out of my head, which is a fairly busy place.
Each has an unpredictable outcome. When I gamble, fish or thift, I never know what I'm going to get. Is it going to be a jackpot, a big fat trout or a priceless artifact?
Or is it going to be a bust - a day when more money goes out than comes back; an afternoon when multiple lines were cast with no yield; a shop filled to the rafters with dross?
That's the chance you take.
What is life but a game of chance?
That's where the fun is. That element of chance, when you might come out ahead, is what keeps me coming back.
I don't have the capital to do much gambling. I don't have the capacity either to kill or catch and release to fish, unless I'm with someone with a strong constitution. I like to do the thrifty thrift, alone or with someone of like mind, almost always.
I walk away from my obligations, my life, my world, for a brief time.
All three pursuits have their advantages and their deficits. Of the three, I've found a common link and a singular fascination - I'd pick thrifting. There's more potential for a positive outcome, based purely on my knowledge base. That's the tipping point.
Add to that the potential for financial ruin when gambling is top choice, and the fact that weather, combined with the fickle nature of fish, makes fishing more of an occasional choice than something you do every day, and treasure hunting is the obvious front-runner.
Regardless, I find all three activities fascinating, primarily because each takes me away.
I love my life, but who doesn't like to get away?
Friday, January 29, 2010
Today I took a day off from the thrifting. I went to my regular job, though.
The days when I'm not interested in looking at thrift somewhat correspond with when I'm not feeling that engaged in much of anything.
Got up at 3.45 am. That, in and of itself, isn't the recipe for a stellar, energy-filled day. I did the math, and I slept as long as I normally sleep - I just went to bed earlier than normal last night.
I worked at my real job, got home in time to see the kids off as they went to their dad's for the weekend, welcomed my man, went to dinner. Then he and I spent the equivalent of 1.25 months' worth of netflix movies watching the interminable, manipualtive, self-indulgent, gratuitous and very long It's Complicated.
It just may have been my mood. I should have liked that movie. There were a few scenes that had merit, and the movie had a freaking stellar cast. It just wasn't my style.
But this blog isn't about movie reviews. It's about thrifting. Just like going to movies, some days you're receptive, and you find good stuff in what you see. And there are days like today, when I just wasn't into it; the thrifting, the search, the hunt, the mystery.
Some days, you just want the good stuff handed to you.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Anne and I chatted at my house. Shawn and I had lunch at our regular place, Pasquini's, and after a lovely catch-up-chat, we did a bit of thrifting. Shawn was looking for a dress. I was looking for anything.
First stop after lunch: ARC on Broadway. Neither of us found anything.
Then we headed to a very cool little store I'd never been to before - Regal Vintage - down the street on Broadway. The owner/designer, James, is an interesting man. Most likely in his early 30s, he's found his ken. What other job can you have while sporting a plate-sized flower on your shirt, multiple piercings and a goatee accented with colorful beads?
His store is very cool, stuffed to bursting with vintage clothes and retro items. I found a Lane end table that would completely match the 1960s Lane swing-out coffee table that Mr. Fabulous and I found at the Highland Ranch Goodwill for $20 (we found the exact same table at a store in Portland for $625). I didn't buy the end table, but did purchase a fabulous chair for 40 bones. It's from the '50s - very cool upholstery, accented on the arms and base with lines of wood. I love it. Mr. Fabulous and I are picking it up tomorrow.
The new-to-me chair is replacing a piece that my dumbass dog Einstein chewed beyond recognition. Over the course of his 4-year life, he's consumed three sofas, a gross of pens and many pair of shoes. Einstein is so unlike his namesake, and frankly, he's lucky to be alive.
I think he's through his chewing stage, though. I fully intend to place a spiky item on my new chair so that Einstein's not provoked to chew in my absence.
I want my chair to stay safe. Because I'll always think of this day when I glance at the chair, and I'm convicted that it will retain its coolness, sans Einstein chew.
I love my friends. Time with Anne and Shawn were the complete takeaway from this day. And every time I sit in my new-to-me chair, I'll think of where I found it and who I was with. My lovely friend Shawn.
I like referencing the items in my house with the event, the place or the person I was with when I found it. I wonder if that association is common with folks who get their stuff at Kohls or Target.
You may remember, but did you have such a memorable sales associate? I don't think so.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I had today off. Went to Logan's Recognition Assembly at school, which was great to see - he has yet to get anything by As in middle school, and he was recognized for being the smarty-pants that he is at the assembly.
I had an appointment at the Apple store, with a genius at the genius bar, at 11.30. So I made a quick pass at the Highlands Ranch Goodwill before my appointment. Nothing worth buying.
Then it was off to the Apple store. My personal genius, Josh, was quite helpful. Genius, even.
I have an ipod touch, as do both of my kids. They got theirs way after I got mine. Mine works perfectly.
Both of theirs didn't. Until today.
Long and short, I hung around Aspen Grove until 1 pm until Josh and other like-minded Apple geniuses supplied me with two brand new ipod touches for my kids. Thank god for warranties.
I was homeward bound after that. Although I did stop by Savers on the way home - found some killer Eames-era Franciscan Duet pieces, and two Longaberger Paprika coffee mugs.
Time off is so precious, and poof, before I turned around, it was 3 pm.
Tomorrow I'm walking with my friend Anne, lunching with my friend Shawn. I can't think of a better way to spend a day off before the work wheel starts spinning again. So I'll be taking a pass on the estate sale.
Some things are so much more precious.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I got an email from an estate sale company I’m hooked up with that there’s an estate sale this Thursday. I can’t decide if I’ll go – it would be so nice to NOT go anywhere for a day. But that might not happen. Because I like to go to the occasional estate sale.
Estate sales are a creepy, voyeuristic endeavor that I really enjoy.
Usually, estate sales take place after someone either goes to a nursing home or dies. An estate sale company typically conducts the sale so the family doesn’t have to wade through grandma’s underwear drawer.
It’s so interesting on so many levels, the estate sale. I always feel somewhat reverent when I’m wandering through the collected artifacts of a person’s life. Every house has a different vibe, and I can usually tell a lot about a person by looking through what they chose to surround themselves with. The Depends, the walkers, the chairs that let you sit when you’re in the shower – those say a lot about a person’s age, don’t you think?
And there are the hoarders. Some people show their hoarding nature to the world after they die. These folks had probably hidden their weakness for accumulation to their peers, friends and family. “Sure, aunt Joan, I’ll have lunch,” they may have said. “Let’s meet at Denny’s.”
And then they die, and the cat’s out of the very full bag.
I went to a sale at a house that was packed with all manner of dolls and toys. Every flat surface was stacked. Dolls were on the beds in each bedroom, laying three or four deep. Dolls and toys were pouring out of boxes in the back yard, and the person who did all of this collecting had purchased a huge trailer that was on the property, again filled with – you guessed it – dolls and toys.
Another estate sale was remarkable because of the vast quantity of clothing that was virtually everywhere. The basement was ringed with racks, and every rack was stuffed with clothes from every possible era, every conceivable style.
That kind of super-crazy collecting makes for an interesting estate sale.
A house’s vibe can be interesting, too. I went to one estate sale that just had bad mojo. Whoever lived in that house was either very sad, or they were very mad at the world.
Most houses’ vibes are good, though. And lots of people like to wander through other people’s houses. It’s sanctioned, even encouraged, to poke into closets and dig through drawers in a house that’s not your own when you go to an estate sale.
Personally, I have a certain approach I tend to take when I go to estate sales. First, I don’t get there as soon as it starts. I hate to stand in lines, and die-hard salers queue up way before the front door opens for business at estate sales.
My first stop is usually the basement or garage. Cool stuff is usually ferreted away in the deep recesses of a house.
Next stop, the kitchen. I like kitchen stuff.
Then I look everywhere else. Kind of randomly.
I’ve found that the quality and condition of most things is better at estate sales. Most items at thrift stores are there because they weren’t wanted any more, and that definitely can’t be said of estate sale fare.
There’s a lot more to be said about the whole estate sale topic – I’ll have to revisit it some day.
And as for Thursday, it couldn’t hurt just to stop by that estate sale for a few minutes, could it? There might be something cool in the basement…..