Saturday, November 01, 2008

2094 Shopping and Selling

Saturday, November 1, 2008

In the words of Becs, "If it's not in my house already, I probably don't need it."

Yeah. I've got everything I really need (except reliable air conditioning), and I've got too many of some things, like clothing, shoes, jewelry, and books. There are over six thousand books here. My biggest clue that maybe I have a problem was that solid perfume compact of the other day - it's 34 years old!

I save things. The house is so full I literally can't find anything any more. Daughter and The Man were both frustrated by my birthday - I have everything, and want very little. Daughter is giving me what I asked for, a foot and hand massage. The Man gave me time, the most precious thing he can bestow, and the trip to warmth, and a CD of him singing. (I love his voice. I wish I knew how to share it here.)

I've got to get rid of stuff. I've donated loads of overflow to the Salvation Army and the local historical society resale store over the past few years, but there are some things that, well, frankly, I want a tangible return for. Not so much for the money, but for the feeling that if someone BUYS it, they'll give it the respect it deserves. Time to turn to eBay for help.

Why haven't I been selling on eBay before now? Because I couldn't make good pictures. It wasn't until yesterday that I fully realized that was the sole holdup.

I've had a digital camera for two years now, and I never used it because it was too complicated. There was no "quick start" with it, the book was, no kidding, 70 dense pages with no index, and all the buttons were multi-purpose and badly labeled.

So last night I went to Office Max, and bought a tiny purple Nikon "Coolpix" S210 8.0 Megapixel self-focusing zoom blah blah camera with a 4 Gig card, a soft case, and Quick Start directions! In real English! With illustrations! And intuitive buttons! Two hours later (after battery charge) I was taking (and deleting) pictures. I have to install the software next.

I tried last night to get a picture of Jasper, but there's a delay on the button, and I'd frame his face, but he was curious about the camera and he'd move and the photo turned out to be his rump - every time.

Next I have to figure out how to get started selling on eBay, upgrade my PayPal account, and figure out where to store the photos for the listings. Also find out what shipping costs are. I'd like to fold the shipping cost into the minimum bid, and offer "free shipping". That draws more bidders. Given the apparent IQ level of some of the sellers I've dealt with as a buyer, I ought to be able to handle it - eventually.

I'm on the move now.


Just got off the phone with Daughter. She wondered why I'd choose to sell books on eBay when there are so many used book stores that will buy them, and so many places they can be donated. Well, the used book stores around here are full, they mostly don't want more "ordinary" books, and their payment is usually credit, and the one thing I don't need right now is more books.

As for donating, I am sad when I see books sitting on a shelf in those places, gathering dust, unwanted. If I sell them for a nominal amount (even as little as the shipping cost), at least I know the buyer wanted them, and they're going to a good home.

2093 Step Down, Judge Judy

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ten years or more ago I admired Judge Judy Sheindlin. She showed a lot of common sense.

Lately it looks like too many people have complimented her on her common sense, and she's now going overboard, and thoroughly pissing me off.

It started getting really bad perhaps five years ago. She'd hear about something that happened, and she'd say she didn't believe it happened that way, because it didn't "make sense", so the person must be lying. Several times that pronouncement lifted me right out of my chair, because the exact same thing had happened to me! How can she say I'd be lying if I told her about it? It can so happen!

I'm getting sick of hearing her shout, "That doesn't make sense!" in that nasty tone she has.

Just because something doesn't make sense doesn't mean it didn't happen. Lots of things don't make sense, but people act that way anyway. Some people are just plain nuts. That doesn't make the recipient of those senseless actions a liar.

I stopped watching her show.

She has recently turned up again on the station that's on by default in my day's background. Some bits break through my filters, and Judge Judy is off her rocker.

Yesterday a young woman plaintiff testified that her books, needed for a college final, were in her car, which had been taken by her aunt two days before the final exam. The aunt had permission to take the car, but a) she took the car unexpectedly several hours before the agreed-upon time, and b) the aunt did not return the car the same day, as agreed, in fact she never returned the car.

Judge Judy decided the plaintiff was lying, because a college student studying for finals would have the books with her at all times (huh?), therefore they were not left in the car, therefore she was lying about that, therefore she was lying about everything. She completely ignored the part about the aunt taking the car sooner than expected, before the girl had an opportunity to retrieve the books.

It sounds like Judge Judy has decided that everybody does everything exactly the way she'd do it, and if they claim otherwise, they're lying.

Time to hang up the robes, lady. You've got hardening of the brain.

Friday, October 31, 2008

2092 Anonymous Visitor

Friday, October 31, 2008

I had a visitor today, at 5:58 pm my time, who came in through, a server that allows one to access sites normally blocked (by a school or library or company computer) or to visit a site anonymously. They came directly to this site, so they knew where they were headed.

That bothers me.

I've already moved this blog once because people who know me in real life were visiting, not letting me know that they were here, and discussing with others what I had to say. Please don't make me do it again.

To that visitor:
- If you're using FreeProxyServer to get around blocks installed by the owner of the computer you're using, you shouldn't be doing that. Please don't make me complicit in your dishonesty.
- If you are trying to keep your identity or location from me, that really bugs me. Leave a comment with some clue as to who you are. Otherwise, if I keep seeing you here without some explanation as to why you're being so sneaky, I might have to move again.

2091 Chin Hair and the Vermont Catalog

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Vermont Country Store catalog arrived yesterday. They arrive regularly, but I haven't been looking at them. I opened it yesterday looking for Welsh cookies, I get a hunger for them about this time of year, and I ended up with several dog-eared pages, and no cookies.

It's funny how the contents meshed with recent desires.

My chin hairs are driving me crazy. I tweeze and tweeze, and the next day I feel more stiff stubble that I missed. It's difficult to get them all, because I can't SEE the dang things, can't see close enough to grab them. Waxing doesn't work because the hairs have to be too long. Shaving doesn't work because they're back the next day. The other day I was thinking about the Epilady I had tried on my legs and discarded (pain!) in the '80s and wished I had it back. Guess what I found in the catalog? This! Major dog-ear.

With all the traveling and overnighters I've been doing lately, I've been wanting a solid perfume, but haven't been able to find one I really like. On Wednesday I was going through a box of old cosmetics, and I found a Coty compact from the mid-70s, containing Sweet Earth Woods Fragrances (sandalwood, amberwood, and patchouli). I was rather passionate about the sandalwood and amberwood, and wore them with a touch of the patchouli, until the day toddler Daughter discovered it, smuggled it into her room, and dug out ALL the perfume, smearing it all over every inch of herself, her bed, and everything else she could reach during a "nap" one day. She wanted her nap time to smell like Mommy.

Coty had stopped making it. I couldn't replace it.

The old compact still has bits deep around the edges of the trays, and it still smells wonderful. Still soft and creamy.

And then I found this! It's MINE! MINE! All MINE!

Yesterday, searching for my cousin, I was thinking of the few college friends I had located online. The scents of those days, the early to mid-60's, were Tweed and Woodhue. Everybody wore one or the other. I loved both, but neither have been available for decades. Then I found this! And this!

My grandmother always wore Avon's To a Wild Rose, and I'm considering it. Minor dog-ear.

The only scent I'm missing now is Yardley's O! de London, which was my favorite after the Sweet Earth Woods. It was a lot lighter than the other scents, very Carnaby Street kicky. Maybe if I write to Vermont Country Store, they'll find it for me. It is available here at a gold-plated price for 3.3 oz, and here at a completely ridiculous price for .5 oz. I'm thinking about the first one.

Still no Welsh cookies, but the almond buttercrunch is looking good....

2090 Happy Halloween


Thursday, October 30, 2008

2089 Looking for the cousin...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I spent a lot of time today searching online for my cousin, Dean Morris. I have very little information. I haven't seen him since about 1963.

He's a swimmer. He was supposed to be on the US Olympic swim team (or so my mother told the story) back when Mark Spitz won all those gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich (West Germany). Spitz wasn't going to go at first for some reason, my mother said funding, but that doesn't sound reasonable given that he was already pretty darn famous. When Spitz decided at the last minute to go, and they were all packed for the plane, cousin Dean was bumped from the team. He was devastated. At least, that's the way my mother tells it.

Anyway, I do know Dean was a serious swimmer. I don't know where he went to college, or what career he pursued, but it's pretty reasonable to assume he still swims. He's tall and dark - looked a lot like Joe Namath when both of them were young. He was born probably in 1946 or so, in Buffalo or Tonawanda, NY, to Betty and Richard Morris. I don't know his middle name, but I seem to have the initial "R" stuck in my head.

He has a sister, Linda Joy Morris, born in late 1943 or early 1944. I'd like to find her, too, but with women it's not enough to know who they were - you have to know who they married, who they "belong to" now. (Damn those stupid patriarchal customs that define women not as themselves, but by who their male owner is.... )

Anyway, there are a few thousand "Dean Morris" internet hits. You'd think "Linda Joy" would be rather rare, but there are several of them, too. I thought I had located a reference to her in Long Island, but it happened to mention that her mother had died in the mid-80s, of Alzheimer's, and I believe aunt Betty was still alive in the early '90s, so it's probably not her.

Aunt Betty may be still living in the Tonawanda area, but Uncle Dick died a long time ago, and she remarried, and I don't know who her current male owner might be.

Frustrating business.


Today is the seventh anniversary of Jay's departure. In my belief system, now is the time that I must emotionally release him. It won't be easy. Especially since he had promised to wait seven years for me before he moved on.

Sigh. It's time. I feel it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2088 Miss Thunderfoot Loves Silk

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've bought a bunch more silk saris over the past few weeks. On eBay. You can get some real deals there. I usually pay about $20-$22 each, including shipping. The saris are 40-some inches wide, and 5 to 7 yards long, and that's a lot of good silk, especially for that price.

When they arrive, I sit down at the computer and unfold them, open them out to examine them, for the feedback to the seller, then refold them to put away.

A package of saris arrived from India today. Saris from this particular seller are always especially soft and beautiful and in excellent condition, except that they always arrive with a strong mildew odor. They are not themselves mildewed - they just smell of mildew. Bad storage during the rainy season, I guess. It washes out (cold water!), so it doesn't bother me.


When I get a mildewy batch I don't refold them. I just drop them in a pile on the floor to take to the laundry basket.

One of today's batch is very beautiful, an intense rose-purple with a multicolored finely woven floral edging and pallu. It's so light it floats. It was described as 50 years old, so I guess that's why no one else bid on it. I got it for $8.00 + $5.00 S&H, and it looks brand new. It was the first one I opened out, so it was the first onto the floor.

Miss Thunderfoot, who usually sleeps on a leather laptop case stored on a shelf near my elbow, took one look at it, dropped from her perch, curled up on it, and started a rare purr. As I opened up the other saris, I dropped them on top of her, and she purred louder.

By the time I'd opened up six saris, the mildew odor (probably spores) was getting to my sinuses, so I tried to gather up the saris to take them to the laundry basket, and hit a snag, literally.

She let me take the other saris, but Miss Thunderfoot unsheathed all her claws (with double front paws she's got more claws than normal cats), latched on to the purple sari, and refused to let go. She made it clear that she'd shred it before she'd let me take it. I tried to trade a lesser sari, but she wouldn't go for it. She's been on it since about 4 pm, and it's after 11 now. My sinuses are raging.

At least she's got good taste. And no sense of smell.


I have several very nice light jackets and I'm getting annoyed that I never get to wear them. Around here, we go directly from short sleeves to parkas in the fall, and directly from parkas to short sleeves in the spring. A fast transition. It's always either too warm or too cold for my light jackets.

2087 Analysis of The Joke

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Man made up a joke:

A white man, a black man, and a Catholic guy go into a bar.
One of the men turns to the others and says,
. (Pause....)
"Hey, we left Sarah in the car!"

When he told it to me, I blinked twice, and then cracked up, which surprised and pleased him enormously. He said he'd told it to ten people at work the day before, and no one thought it was funny. A joke's not funny when you have to explain it. They didn't "get it".

I did, and that's why he loves me.


The Man and I didn't get into it then, but the question of what makes something funny was one of Jay's favorite topics.

Jay maintained that it was "disconnect". You'd laugh when you were expecting one thing, and got something entirely different. I agreed with Jay that disconnect was funny, but it wasn't all of it. I don't know. Maybe in the end, it does all come down to disconnect. I guess even shock, relief, and embarrassment, all elements in some types of humor, are, in the end, disconnect.

The Man's joke has disconnect on several levels:
  1. When a joke starts out with a disparate group going into a bar, there's a certain pattern to the joke. It's a standard type. This one breaks that pattern, forcing you to back up and look at it differently. Disconnect.
  2. Your mind says, "Sarah?", which requires that you think about the three men, and how a Sarah fits in. When you realize who they are, this is a second disconnect from the format. Usually it's three anonymous types.
  3. The recognition that they are in a bar together is disconnect.
  4. And the thought that they may have left her in the car on purpose is another disconnect, and perhaps the best part.
Perhaps no one else found it funny because it had too many disconnects? Perhaps it was too much work, so that by the time they got it, they were annoyed?

Opinions, anyone?

Monday, October 27, 2008

2086 I'm Back, and Hate Winter More Than Ever!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've been away. Drove to New Jersey on Thursday, met The Man, we flew south Friday morning to palm trees and myrtles, waves and sculpture gardens, and returned this morning.

He needed a spot of relaxation after a rough month, and it was my birthday, so we went. He showed me where he lived and played and hung out in the '90s. The trip was relaxing and often romantic.

He dropped me off at my car at about noon today and went to his office. I smiled all the way home.

(Oh, and my back was no trouble at all. There was a Jacuzzi in the room, which helped to keep it that way.)

2085 Why Women Hang TP Backward

Monday, October 27, 2008

Men complain when women "hang the toilet paper backward". Well, there's a reason. It's usually women who have to deal with and clean up after kittens, puppies, and toddlers.