Monday, June 14, 2010

chickening out (one medium-sized blue tub of notebooks)

(Yes, I know that in my last post, I promised to unpack one bank box of political contents this time around, but I am postponing that post until my partner-in-politics completes a relevant and related video project. Please excuse the inconvenience? Whatever, you'll enjoy this post only slightly less for being off-topic...)

Today, I was planning to empty:

 one medium-sized blue tub of notebooks

In no particular order and without reading their contents, onto:

 one empty shelf

But look what I found that stopped such a simple plan from succeeding:

 box in a box!

That's just sneaky! Then I opened it:


Yup, that's a zip-top bag full of junior high school diary goodness, right on top. 

Damn it.

Underneath the diaries, I found one United Airlines Young Travelers Flight Kit (huh?) and a stack of essays, poems, and papers I'd written. Working chronologically backwards until I reached the bottom of the box and the late 80s, everything I read made me cringe, so I gave up, chickened out, hid the whole pile in the bank box labeled "sentimementalos," and called it a day.


I had forgotten the part of my plan where I was going to move all the cds from the short shelves to that empty shelf, since the empty shelf is all stupid big and I don't have an immediate means of fixing it. So I did that, instead:

progress, salvaged

I even grouped them roughly alphabetically and labeled the stacks so I can find things easily. Now I can put the writings on the short shelves like I wanted to do. (But who has my copy of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy?)

This turn of events is for the best, because as I was checkers-ing stacks of cds, I remembered that one of the "two trunks of unknown contents" probably contains notebooks and journals as well, so today's box was going to be the first of a potentially multi-part adventure anyway.

part one

I'll get back to those cringe-worthy tales of teenage love lost some other day.

* * *


While I was working, I got it into my head to listen to The Twilight Project, a short-lived three-piece in which I played bass and sang and wrote songs for the first time, circa summer and fall 1999. Alec Harrington, who later went on to assume the identity of Dr. Go-Go, played guitar and sang and wrote the other half of the songs. John Butler, who played with Kung-Fu Sophie for a time, wailed on the fiddle and sang backups and generally provided unwavering optimism.

Either Alec or John sent the album files over, like, two years ago (the filedate suggests 9-24-08), and I never got around to listening to the album again. Until now.

Wow. You want to hear it? It's an almost painfully realistic snapshot of the sloppy shambling we perpetrated, and it takes me right back to 11 years ago. How much fun it was to make music with those guys! I can really hear the Grant Lee Buffalo influence in Alec's songwriting, the tentativeness of my first steps out into the spotlight post-Crushstory, and the joy of John's violinistic enthusiasm. For how much of a novice effort this was for we musicians, I can also hear real patience and passion in Vince's engineering and production, which is no surprise to me now.

I think it's funny that my songs are the songs with the extended jammy intros. A reaction to the tightly controlled three-minute powerpop tyranny I had just escaped, I suppose.

Anyway, leave me a note in the comments if you'd like to hear it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

the master list

While no one was looking (i.e., I didn't bother to take any pictures), I completed a mini-reorganization of the blue room, and also moved some furniture around. Nothing major, but in a project like this, periodically the project-doer has to make space for no other reason than making space can help a person figure out where s/he is within it.

(This is also true in an intellectual, emotional, and metaphysical sense: I have spent more time on the project lately because I'm not sure of my next life move.)

No specifics are necessary, and would be really really boring anyway, but the result is a clearer picture of what is finished and what needs doing.

So, what has yet to be unpacked and poked and prodded, now, would seem to be:

  • One very large blue tub of unknown contents
  • Five boxes (and an overflowing pile) of what we might loosely call "knick-knacks"
  • Two trunks of unknown contents
  • One medium-sized blue tub of notebooks
  • One bank box labeled "sentimementalos"
  • One bank box of political contents
  • One very large purple tub of assumed-to-be-ex-boyfriend-related contents
  • One small tub of jewelry
  • Three cardboard containers of posters
  • One bank box of photographs
  • One bank box of flyers
  • One small tub of instruction manuals
  • One five-piece drum kit
  • One small portable PA
  • One small guitar practice amp
  • One card table and accompanying folding chair 
  • One stepladder
  • One large stack of empty containers, tubs, and boxes
  • And one closet

In the closet, we will find:

  • A selection of instruments and musical equipment
  • Several boxes labeled "kitchen"
  • Two medium tubs of Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorations
  • One medium tub of t-shirts that no longer fit but might someday be made into a punk rock quilt
  • One medium tub of games and toys
  • One small tub of camping gear 
  • One sleeping bag
  • Two lawn chairs
  • One window fan
  • One bed frame
  • And between eight and ten boxes of books and toys from the collective childhoods of the Scaffidi children

Most of the boxes in the closet have already been assessed; for example, the ornaments and decorations belong in a closet. Same with the camping gear. All those instruments need a home. The sister and I recently discussed the need to revisit the Scaffidi childhood boxes, probably with the brother around, which is something we'll have to schedule. And I know I'm not going to unpack any more of those kitchen boxes in this house.

I could really use the space all those boxes are occupying.

There are also some things in other rooms that need to be integrated into the blue room:

  • One Peavey 15" bass cabinet (unpowered)
  • One busted SWR combo bass amp
  • One medium cooler
  • Three folding chairs

Some prioritizing is in order.

Looks to me like the key will be to continue delving into the items on what we're now going to call the master list (that first bulleted section above).

Which is really what I've been doing all along.

It helps to make lists, though, doesn't it?

In honor of this week's state primary, in the next post we'll investigate the contents of "One bank box of political contents."

For now, I'm just going to run around in circles in the big empty space in the middle of the blue room:


Monday, June 7, 2010

Nicole's box (pretty much NSFW)

First, a little post-craft-series catch-up. The sister advised me to add my fabric-and-sewing things to her trunk of fabric-and-sewing things. When I asked her what to do about the too-big-to-be-a-scarf that I was crocheting for Eric Foreman in 2000-whatever, she said she could use the string if I didn't want it, so I turned:


into this

Not bad for a non-knitter, eh?

And then suddenly I got really excited to unpack the remaining boxes. What's in this one? Will this one have my long-lost art projects? How much ex-boyfriend stuff could possibly be in that purple trunk? And so on. I must've turned a corner when I finished the craft series.

So I started in on these:

photo albums and yearbooks

and turned:


into this

I was ready to keep going until I looked through the photos and saw how young and happy I was, at all the different points of my life so far. And then, a note dropped out of one of the albums.

I can assume, because it was folded tent-style, that I had made myself a little reminder to divvy up my paycheck in a particular way. That's my handwriting there on the first three lines. Someone thought perhaps the note was meant for him, though...



Oh, when I saw this the first time, I laughed and laughed, and when I saw it this time, I laughed until I cried.

And I thought there was no way I could possibly go on with this project now. I felt so much disappointment and sadness over all the things that might have been, and looking through those pictures at all the people I have loved and who have left (friends, boyfriends, people now deceased) and ... not to be maudlin here, but there are moments when it seems so much easier to stay home and just stop... trying... and this was one of them.

Fortunately, I wasn't stuck in the drowning place for long; the sister found a box of mine in the den. The contents happened to coincide with the albums I was thumbing through at that exact moment:

Nicole's box

Why do we call it Nicole's box? Well, here is a picture of her creating the things that lived inside:

circa 1999

Let's have a look at the contents today:

are those boobs?

is that a torso?

Oh right. This is a box of pornographic clay figures that Nicole made and that I have been carrying around with me for 10 years. Why? You know, because they're funny and I miss her.

in their original form

There's no great lesson here, no nugget of wisdom to buoy me along or make me feel the weight of loss any less. But you try to stay depressed while you're scraping your friend's clay genitals out of a tin your mother gave you.

I bet you couldn't do it without laughing either.

(p.s. Nicole, if this post is offensive to you now, let me know and I will take it down. You filthy pervert.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

she's crafty, and she's just my type

boxes 5, 6, and 7 of 8

I'm cracking up at the box labeled current projects, as I believe these projects were current in 2002. Evidence? This sweatshirt that I had planned to make into a Spark shirt for Eli Abrego. Who is now, like, in college. Der.

aw, 3T

Underneath that, we've got:

  • More gift bags and boxes
  • A giant pair of cotton underpants, which I can only imagine was meant for a piggy days-of-the-week underpants project
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Foam stamps of moons and planets
  • A huge bag of wire and beads which appears to be a "snowflake" project in the works:


  • And sixty (yes, Amy, sixty) hot glue sticks
You may not be aware, but we have developed something of a plague of hot glue around here the past year or two. I've unearthed two hot glue guns so far, and the sister has unearthed her share as well. We can't figure out how we ended up with so many guns and sticks, but if we ever need to arm a brigade of crafters, well, the artillery is here.

The box marked paper is, of course, just paper, but with a few extra surprises:

  • More foam paper
  • Transparency sheets
  • Plain white matte board!
  • Probably 100 pages of photocopied pictures of me, from covers for the Live on KZSU EP, plus all the blank cover sheets
  • Packages of paper with dopey sports- or Christmas-themed borders and a package of pre-cut business cards, which I will almost certainly never use
  • A rejected print of an etching I made, like, a million years ago

  • This amazing notepad find:

And in the laminator box, would you believe I found the laminator? Also, a box of zip-top sandwich bags, some letter beads, hooks and buckets for a pegboard display, and the old Gypsy Sisters business cards:

number no longer in service

And finally:

box 8 of 8

I know there are silkscreen supplies within, most of which are too old to keep. At least, I assume 15-year-old printer ink and emulsion is not worth keeping. There are other questionable items, too: a measuring spoon and cup for mixing chemicals, a boar-bristle hairbrush for cleaning screens, a spatula for applying emulsion. These can all go in one of the rainbow drawers, but where do I put the flood light?

I am really excited about the stash of masking tape I found:

yay! tape!

So now that we've completed the craft box series, I'm looking around and I see some fabric and sewing things that don't yet have a home, and a collection of pre-fab projects that I don't know about keeping, and the "um, i don't know about this stuff" box which is a lot more full than it was a few days ago.

The miscellaneous things can go in a rainbow drawer, and the sewing things will have to wait until I can consult the sister and the pre-fab projects can go to the RUMMAGE SALE on Saturday.

And now I can go to happy hour.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

she's crafty, she's got a gripe

Stepping up my game today:

boxes 2, 3, and 4 of 8

In the misc art things box, I found:

  • Empty gift bags
  • Empty gift boxes
  • 100-watt light bulbs
  • Tiny wooden clothespins
  • Embroidery floss
  • Ribbon
  • Balsa wood shadow boxes
  • And two sets of Aunt Martha's Hot Iron Transfers:

These transfers are a relic from the days when the sister and I roamed the streets of Carson City and frequented the Walmart after dark, purchasing random craft supplies, and, um, chewing bubble gum. What I remember from that summer is frosty blue eyeshadow and cherry red lip gloss. I did not remember these transfers.

But they are really cute and I hope I can come up with an idea for how to use them...

The box labeled scraps contained mostly that, of the paper variety. I planned to ruthlessly toss anything smaller than, say, a bookmark, and put away all the finished items (e.g., notepads, cards, envelopes). Easy peasy.

Then, halfway through the box, I decided to toss everything that wasn't a full sheet. Including even a half-dozen paper sample books I once loved dearly. ~sniff~

I think I was rewarded, though, because I found a stash of blank notecards, some cool foam paper, and this notepad:

things to do TODAY

And, finally, in the crafts box, I found only cartridges for the laminator, an embroidery hoop, and an empty Lisa Frank tin. Weird.

Four boxes down, four boxes to go.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

she's crafty, she's always down


One of eight "craft" boxes, this one is full of beading supplies. Will it be quick? (SPOILER ALERT: no.)

one of eight

Ever since I got the rainbow drawers (times two), it's been easier to sort things like the things in this box.

really not beads at all

I followed the sister's lead and made a drawer for "glue and tape things" and that lead to a drawer for "sharp things" and one for "crayon things" and so on. That system is perfect for what I am doing right now. This means I can sort first and then decide what I want to keep. The only thing these drawers can't help me do is figure out where to put these four sculpting tools, as they cannot help me become a sculptress, nor can they help me find a place for 300 red-and-pink acrylic letters, as they cannot help me curb impulse purchases at the craft store.

Which is why I made an "um, i don't know about this stuff" box.

i am nothing if not an excellent procrastinator

But the beads. So many beads.

And because I am a klutz, some sorting is in order...

...twelve hours* later...

i went from boxes like this

to organization like this

Yes! Now I'm going to have to double-time the next batch of boxes, lest I languish in craftiness forever.

*(I stopped somewhere in there to make enchiladas and fall asleep watching a movie.)