skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com
Wednesday, 04 February
This Boy Is Exhausted
At long last, the wife and I are officially looking for a new apartment. When I first moved into this place back in, uh, 1999 or so, it was perfect for me: I was single, didn't have a lot of shit, etc. Then the future-wife moved in, and things got a little tighter, but no biggie; we made compromises, we both dumped a bunch of redundant crap, my walls had artwork instead of nothing, again etc.
Then we got married.
Our stockpile of crap exploded (partially due to people who APPARENTLY DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO WEDDING REGISTRIES). At one point, we had--I'm not kidding--something like 36 martini glasses. 24 margarita glasses. 18 highball glasses. 6 discount drugstore eyeglasses. (Some of our friends are drunkards or dumb or both.) Were people trying to tell us something? We hate you! said these gifts, We'd sure appreciate it if you drank yourselves to death! Well, we're working on it.
We gave away tons of crap. We received a George Foreman grill from a certain wobbly relative, who was extolling the virtues of its eggplant-sizzling properties: we gave it away to our friend C. (fuck you, eggplant). We didn't have room in our kitchen for the motherfucker anyway. A few months later, for her birthday, the wife's parents gave her (us) . . . a George Foreman grill. The "deluxe" size, perfect for roasting, say, dinosaurs. We exchanged sidelong glances when she unwrapped it, and put on our best happy grin-rictuses, gaily showing our teeth to the oldsters. "That's fantastic! We have . . . nobody left to give this away to! Maybe we can put it . . . Christ, I don't know . . . in our bed?"
This explosion of shiny stuff is only compounded by my penchant for buying as much crap as humanly possible: I am a freak for CDs, DVDs, and, my real Achilles' heel, books: Books are goddamn fucking bulky, and not to mention heavy as shit, so you can imagine how stoked I am to move all the bastards. Also not helpful is my seeming inability to get rid of any of them, which makes no sense whatsoever, since I'd rather roll around on a bed of carpet tacks rather than reread, say, Piers Anthony ever again, but the main problem is: I can't get rid of any of my goddamn books. I'm just incapable, and so I stare disconsolately at wretched pieces of shit like Golem in the Gears on my shelf, thinking, "I can't even burn you. Why can't I burn you?" I don't know what it is.
So we're looking for a new place, preferably a 2-bedroom. No, definitely a 2-bedroom, because apparently I'll need one entire fucking space in which to store all of the sonuvabitching books I never again intend to read. I have a call in to a guy (actually a former building manager with whom I had a good relationship) to see about a condo on Friday; he said something about a pool. The rent on the place is $1100 a month, a sum that I can barely believe I am even contemplating: I know that you New Yorkers and San Franciscans pay that much a month just for your ham, but this is foreign territory for me.
And I know, I know, I shouldn't be throwing this money down a gape-hole, and should be getting some equity on some firetrap shack, but listen: I'm a total man-boy, and the concept of trying to buy a house is roughly akin to the idea of being a superhero. I could be NEBBISH-MAN! He drinks too much and routinely fails to combat crime, because, hey, he's lazy!
God help me if any Seattle landlords read this weblog. We could die in this place.
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My favorite thing about George Foreman is that he has 5 sons named George. But seriously: HIRE MOVERS. Best $600 I ever spent.
I'm with you on the books and the DVDs and the whatnot. Things I currently own that I have no intention of ever watching/reading:
I can't get rid of these even if I wanted to. They all have such pretty decorations!
yeah, throwing out books is unthinkable . but, once a year or so, the wife manages to get me to pick a half-dozen off the shelf for trade-in. after a few times, it does become easier to do. so i get rid of stuff i bought but couldn't finish cause it sucked so friggin much - mostly stuff Amazon's "hey, you might like this" demon tempted me into buying.
Ah, there's nothing quite like Piers Anthony related self-loathing. I look upon those books with shame, yet I can't bring myself to get rid of them.
Just two things:
1. Kim is right, HIRE MOVERS, abso-fucking-lutely!!!
2. Be aware of the incontrovertable fact that the amount of crap one accumulates grows exponentially in proportionate to the amount of space one has.
I first moved to the West Coast back in '87 (yes, I'm old, fuck off), ostensibly just for the summer, so I only had two duffel bags of stuff. By the end of the summer, I had already acquired a dresser and a foam matttess, but could still fit everything into the back of a sub-compact car for the move to Salinas.
After only one year sharing an empty two bedroom apt. in Salinas (we were poor, starving actors), it took the smallest-size UHaul to move from Salinas to LA.
After four years in a totally shitty one bedroom apartment in LA, I needed an 11 ft. truck to move my crap out of my apartment and into storage before moving to Seattle. Once I found a place in Seattle, I only rented a minivan to move and ended up shipping some crap air freight, as well. My moving out of LA is legendary amongst my friends, some of whom didn't speak to me for a couple of years after because of the hellishness of that move.
Now I'm in a house-- A HOUSE!!-- and you, yourself, have seen the amount of crap I have accumulated in the past 11+ years, and you haven't even seen the horrors lurking in the basement and the crawl space.
One more word of advice... separate your books into two piles, ones you would absolutely die without and ones you would poke your eyes out with rusty forks before reading again. Then leave for the afternoon and allow the wife to donate the loser pile to a charity or Twice Sold Tales or something. Isn't that what being married is for? Sharing the difficulties of life?
You'll need the space for all the new books and crap you'll get after you move.
Indeed. What you should do is limit your books to one room, as the wife and I have. This way, there are many boxes of books that while we can't bring ourselves to throw them away, don't make the grade to actually being on the bookshelf.
Therefore Piers Anthony's magnum opus "Var the Stick" is forever in corrugated limbo, never to be sold to a used bookshop, mostly because no sane person above the age of fourteen should read Var the Stick, and never to gain a spot on the shelves.
I will admit to being uable to put any Moorcock books into the boxes, though. The Corum Chronicles sits proudly next to Dostoevsky, engaging him in debates about the nature of The Eternal Champion and whether Elric would have lasted one winter in Siberia.
Also, we got 24 margarita glasses for our wedding too. And a George Foreman grill. We acepted this with quiet dignity and grim resignation.
Man, you are singing to the choir on this one. Congratulations for living some strange doppelganger lifestyle on the other side of the country. I have a wife and a 2-year-old and piles of books I can't bear to chuck stuffed to the rafters of our 2-bedroom, and thanks to the NYC real estate market, we too fear our bodies will be carted from the premises.
Best of luck with the search!
Use all the books to make another room. Then put nothing in it except a lightbulb. It's practical and it makes a statement.
I feel your pain. I bought a house 3 years ago, a one story, two bedroom. I pray every Christmas and birthday now for well wishes, a cake, and nothing else. I have stuff in bags and boxes in my spare bedroom. I've no other place to put them. I have no room for any more glasses or plates. Or pots or pans. Or clothes, for God's sake!
However, I do feel that dvds and cds will stack anywhere. One must have priorities.
Skot, you must go through your books and make friends with Mr. Goodwill. Trust me, your back will thank you for it after you move.
I'm glad you started singing to the choir instead of preaching to us Skot. Hearing you drone on and on all the damn time asking for money was getting really fucking annoying, but do you think you could stop karaoking "Girl From Ipanema"? That thing you do with your hips, it's rather... ah... distracting, and aren't we supposed to be thinking about her walking, and not you walking? I mean, really.
Sadly, Mr. Foreman also has a daughter named George.
Phinney Ridge has reasonable rents right now, but you'd have to leave the 12th Ave. Likka Sto.
How `bout just building bookshelves along all open walls? That's my dream.
Ohhhh. I understand far, far too well. The books are everywhere...Thank God there are no earthquakes around here.
How did you throw away anything? If it were me I'd have 2 Foreman grills. Or more. There is a funny short story by T.C. Boyle about people with too much stuff and they hire someone to help them. The person takes every single thing they own. They forgot to read the fine print. But sometimes I think that might be a blessing.
Kim is right. Spend the $600 and call:
Ballard Transfer CO
When the owner, Mike, came to assess our belongings our pug howled with happiness at his arrival. Mike bellowed "What the hell is that thing?!". Everything was frickin' this and goddamn that. Example: "I had to stop at Fred Meyer and get some goddamn pink tights for my daughter's frickin' ballet class." or about the dresser: "That son-of-a-bitch is gonna be heavy."
Our kids were stunned into silence so obviously we hired him. (Plus he was highly recommended.)
I just followed a link from Anita's page -- to the retail story -- and woke my husband up laughing. Why have I not been reading you since time began?
When we moved here (Seattle) from Northern California, it took a professional moving crew 3 days to pack and load our house. We're going to be those little old folks with rooms full of crap and little paths, I just know it. We have bookcases in every room in the house and one room with nothing but bookcases. There are still boxes of books unpacked, a year later, because there's nowhere to put them. And I go to the bookstore or order from Powell's an average of once/week. It's a disease.
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