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* After stalling all year, I finally saw Pompeii and I am now a) even madder I didn't see that on a theater screen and b) more thrilled than ever before with everything about Kit Harrington's face, voice, and general state of human being.  I found it impossible to take Jack Bauer seriously as a Roman senator, but that was about my only qualm with this film. That's the most engaged I've been in fight scenes ever, including LotR.

* I went to an estate sale on Friday at this cute little house -- almost like a cabin, really, in the middle of a town small enough to qualify as "village" -- and it made me sad to see so much paper ephemera, so much family history, that was for sale instead of being curated by relatives.


Besides loads of old family portraits -- which, I know they're boring to look at, but have some family pride -- there was a little folder with wedding details for a couple from nearly a century ago. It included a list of all their important milestones, like when/where they first met (a week after Halloween, 1915), wedding guests, wedding gifts, and a couple of extra entries noting where they went on vacation for their first two anniversaries.

There were WWII service papers, postcards that people had sent them, two (very expensive) album books full of cards (couldn't open them to see if they were written in, but maybe), a 1931 yearbook (signatures but no messages or I would have bought it), a couple of autograph books from the late 20s/early 30s (there's the messages! They were pricey, though, 3 of them at $6-8 each), and just endless little scraps of historical relevance that surely must have meant something to someone. I couldn't even decide on anything to buy, because it all needed to be together, this one man's family history. And I know it won't be and it makes me sad, so all I can hope is that isn't recycled at the end of the sale. Their website says they offer optional cleanout service, for which they ominously note that some unsold items will be offered to local charities/thrift stores and "the rest disposed of."

Chris joked about hoping there was more closet collector stuff like the Xena collection at the last sale (most of which was still there on the last day!), and so I was delighted to hear the guy mention that they had a ton of Batman stuff at first, but it went like hotcakes. I was also bemused to spot several of the unsold vintage books from Hazel's estate sale being carried over here.

To my random glee, I also couldn't help but notice, "Huh. That is definitely my first sighting of a vintage Playboy." (I kid you not, I wanted to buy it just to see how the guy running the register would react. And also because I've never seen one. But then I considered the stigma of actually owning porn, as well as the fact that this family-owned company runs most of the estate sales in town, and decided against it.)

In what may have been a record, none of us bought anything, although I was charmed by some day-of-the-week dish towels with embroidered animals on them, and Mom was charmed by some expensive English porcelain plates and saucers w/ birds as well as a solid hand-made wooden chest of drawers, rough hewn but solid, also out of our price range.

[update: I went back at the beginning of half price day and bought a book that Mom was eyeing + a necklace I was eyeing, both of which were originally $4 and which neither of us wanted badly enough to buy at that price. Would have bought the dish towels, but they were gone. The yearbook and autograph books were still there, but I continued to resist. Now I regret not buying the autograph books a little...but oh well.]

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* A snowstorm happened on the 10th and we're stuck with it. We got many inches the first day and it has snowed more times since then, so it's officially winter here in MN. I'm not used to it yet. I fear I will never adjust. For the first time in my life, I feel a genuine desire to consider moving to a state farther south, because CANNOT DEAL. I'm petrified of driving in the snow again, only able to remember the feel of sliding and my brakes not always responding to the slightest tap, and walking in the cold for even a mile seems unbearably difficult.

I've been reading a lot of books set in places up north and/or in the past where they lack adequate transport much of the year, and I'm seriously considering just becoming housebound until spring. I don't have to drive in the snow. I work from home; there is literally nothing preventing me from sending my parents to the library in my stead and making Chris do all the other driving I need.

[update: It was bright and sunny on Sunday, so I semi-conquered my fears by driving 1.2 miles closer to the estate sale mentioned above, parking at the grocery store, and walking the remaining mile. I did not love the driving part, but I didn't panic and/or die, either.]


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* Gas today cost $2.67 a gallon which is just so insane and good it makes me feel like I need to buy and drive and buy as much as possible, as if I can stockpile the trips.

* Because it is winter, the Salvation Army is already ringing their freaking bells. News flash, local businesses! I literally will not enter a store that has bell-ringer in front of it. No sale is worth rewarding you for enabling that noise.

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