So far the most fun part of moving has been setting up my new “living room.” There’s just something about getting a fresh start with organizing my bookshelves that leaves me feeling all giggly and excited!
If we’ve been friends for any significant amount of time you are most likely already familiar with my love of organizing and list-making. If we haven’t known each other long, or we have but you were too distracted by my ferrets to notice, no worries; consider this your crash course.
Living Room, View 1: Desk
- Red: Philosophy
- Pink: Education
- Orange: Writing
- Yellow: Crossword Puzzles
- Green: Journals, notebooks, stationary
- Dark Blue: Dream dictionaries and theory
- Light Blue: Dictionaries
- Dark Purple: Language, style guides
- Light Purple: Grammar textbooks, poetry/ prose collections/ reviews
White Circles (L to R)
- A picture of Jenny K. and me after a performance of The Actor’s Nightmare at Carroll University. We played Sarah and Ellen, though Lord knows I can’t remember who was who any more.
- A ceramic piggy bank I got at an Irish fair with my high school boyfriend; Susan, the talking Aflac duck I got from one of their reps peddling their wares at a former job. I got her for answering a question correctly. When I answered a second question correctly the rep offered me a larger duck. *pfft* As if I could part with Susan!
- A seashell my friend Sarah M. brought back for me in high school from her family’s vacation to Florida, during which her appendix burst. Whoops!
- The Orrefors candle holders my great-grandma Ruth brought over with her from Sweden. My parents passed them down to me last Christmas.
- A picture of the ladies of The Actor’s Nightmare: Jenny K. (Sarah? Ellen?), Mariya G. (director), Kate G. (Meg), me.
- A flower-covered woven thing I wore on my head for the Ophelia costume I wore to a party at Corey R.’s house in high school.
Living Room, View 2: Bookshelves
- Red: Fiction, literature study
- Pink: Poets and poetry
- Orange: Sociology, miscellaneous non-fiction, politics
- Yellow: Gender studies; CDs
- Dark Green: Remodeling, house styles, interior decorating; a gigantic dictionary
- Light Green: DVDs
- Dark Blue: Fiction
- Light Blue: Arty things
- Purple: Videos (The rest are inside the cabinet below.)
White Circles (L to R)
- Votive candle holders I got from my Uncle Steve years ago. He also gave me a decorative bag of scented, orange votives to go with them, which I’ve hesitated to burn since he passed away last December. I know they’re just candles, but it feels strange to think of using up something that cannot be replaced.
- A baby walrus on its mother’s back. This ceramic beauty has been in my collection for over twenty years now. It set me back a whole buck at the local dollar store on a shopping trip with my Mimi when I was about seven years old. I don’t know what prompted me to buy it, though the interest I would later develop in The Beatles certainly made room for it.
- A long dead lighting instrument I grabbed (with Scott B.’s permission!) from the upper storage space at Carroll University during a work day. I have two of them, actually. I like to think about all the exciting moments they lit up, all the stories that are never retold the same way twice, all the effort and laughter and tears. I won’t keep them forever, but I’ll keep them for now. They’ve seen so much. More than you or I ever will.
- A stuffed pig my mom received from a student ten or so years ago. Somehow I ended up with it.
- My senior year of high school our theatre department attended a theatre workshop at Wisconsin Lutheran College. One of the available sessions dealt with mask-making and masked performance. I hadn’t planned to take that class, so my attendance turned out to be one of those “happy accidents.” I believe Deborah Solomon-Phillips led that session. Every part of the exercise taught me something. I settle the mask onto my face every couple of years to see if it still fits. It does, but only on the outside.
- A light saber from a friend and former employer, Jennifer C. Yes, everyone at work had one. Yes, we had battles with them when we were done having Koosh wars and playing hide and seek.
Living Room, View 3: Couches
- Red: Miscellaneous books
- Pink: Photo albums
- Orange: Records
White Circles (L to R)
- A picture of Jenny K. and I at the Carroll Players’ annual Theatre Banquet her junior and my senior year. She has always been just the cutest stinkin’ thing. Love that girl.
- Somehow I ended up with two of Jennifer’s light sabers…
- A wire basket of dried flowers from Donna D. Ah, but from which show, which show…
- A purple Ao Po’i table runner I bought with Christie H. at a shop in Itauguá (though it may’ve been elsewhere; those last few days are a bit of a blur!) during my trip to Paraguay this past January.
- A picture of Amanda H., Brent J., and me at the Blood Center on September 11, 2001. Everyone wanted to do something helpful, something positive, something proactive… but what? The lines at the center were long. We were put on a waiting list and told to come back hours later, which we did. They couldn’t tap my first elbow, so they bandaged it up and moved on to the other one. After drawing a pint of my spaghetti sauce blood they bandaged up that elbow, too, leaving me unable to bend my arms. You can’t see it in this zoomed out image, but in the picture Amanda is holding up my juice for me so I can drink from the straw.
- A turtle candle Jessica C. gave me for my birthday some time during high school; a Speech Meet trophy for first place in Humorous Interpretation.
Is there anything one can possibly do on a computer that feels more mentally fulfilling than completing a detailed list?! Ahh… Refreshing as an ice-cold lemonade after a summertime lawn mowing!
I, uh– I haven’t ever actually mowed an entire lawn…
The bedroom still looks like it was attacked by sea monsters despondent over their banishment to land. But never fear, Nerdfighters: Further bookshelf pictures will make their way up here as soon as I’m done hanging up all my clothes and sorting my non-fiction!
I live alone in a two bedroom apartment. Both bedrooms have amply sized walk-in closets. The living room isn’t what you’d call “spacious,” but it ain’t small either. Actually– here. How ’bout I just show you around with this old video I made several living-room-rearrangements ago:
(My apologies for the bumpiness of the ride in this video. Lots of swingin’ around. I like to loop-de-loop…)
The thing about my apartment is that it’s packed. Both bedrooms, both closets, every book shelf, every bathroom drawer. There’s about twice as much stuff in it now as there was in that video. You can’t even walk into the guest room anymore there are so many piles of boxes on the floor, table, mattress… And the living room? It’s now minus the black chair and plus two large ferret cages, another book shelf, an elliptical machine, and a folding table. It’s not enough to get me on A&E’s Hoarders, but it’s enough that I’ve rounded the bend from feeling frustrated at the clutter to feeling downright annoyed for having- and continuing to buy and receive- so stinkin’ much STUFF.
After a mental perusal of the contents of my apartment, I can now say with full certainty I have enough of the following items to choke a sleuth of bears:
- Pajamas. Between the cutesy matched sets and the bulging assortment of over-sized t-shirts I’ve kept far too long, always under the guise of “I can wear this shirt to bed,” I have an entire drawer stuffed to bursting with clothing no one but Alfred ever sees. I do not need any more pajamas. Don’t anybody do me no sleepwear favors. I’m covered.
- Lipstick. Expanded to include: Lip sticks, lip glosses, lip balms, lip shines, lip stains, lip liners, lip soothers, lip smoothers, lip plumpers, lip exfoliators, and lip healers. I should really count up how many of these things I have. I think the final number would shock me. Probably almost as much as when I counted up the pairs of socks my ferret Brodie stole (95) and I was faced with the reality that I own over 100 pair.
- Socks. (See Lipstick.)
- Lotion. I have fruity smelling lotions, medicine-y smelling lotions, lotions that smell like flowers, lotions that smell like seasons, lotions that smell like baked goods, and lotions that profess to smell like nothing at all. At this rate my skin should be so soft I should be able to mold it. Wonder skin powers: Activate! Form of fist-skin molded into the shape of rabid sharks!!
- Body Spray/Perfume. I have fruity smelling sprays, medicine-y smelling sprays, sprays that smell like flowers, sprays that smell like seasons, sprays that smell like baked goods, and sprays that profess to smell like more expensive sprays from manufacturers whose commercials artfully encourage consumption, but not enough so to get me to shell out the extra cash to ensure it’s their product I’m bringing home. (Thank you, Clique. “Forget your troubles, c’mon get Snappy…”)
- Purses. The first trouble with my mound of purses (I keep them in a 1′ high, 2′ deep, 3′ wide pile on my closet floor) is that almost every single one has some happy little memory associated with it, making it difficult to justify parting with them. The second trouble is that none of them would qualify as a “nice” purse, symptomatic of my preference for quantity over quality, making it difficult to justify keeping them. The third trouble is they provide hours of entertainment for the boys as they fish out rock-hard Starbursts from pockets I thought I’d emptied the last time I used some of these purses– a few as recently as 2006…– making it difficult to even declare ownership over what has now been re-zoned as Ferretland.
- Jackets. Parkas, overcoats, spring jackets, winter jackets, raincoats, summer evening sweaters, zip-front hoodies; I got ‘em all in spades. Not to mention the accompanying tubs of mismatched scarves (sets, hand-made, black, white, colorful, wool, jersey), gloves (knit, leather, suede), and hats (fashion hats, ski/skater hats, ball caps, berets).
What else, what else…
- Books. This one’s tricky because I love buying/receiving new books. But let’s face it: With as many books as I currently have it’s going to be a miracle if I can find anyone who loves me enough to help me transport them if I ever move.
- Nail Polish. I have about 30 bottles. I wear nail polish maybe– MAYBE– three times a year.
- Kitchen Equipment. If it blends, chops, sorts, tenderizes, juliennes, vaporizes, etc. chances are I don’t need it. Have you seen me in the kitchen? I make sandwiches, people. Sandwiches, and occasionally brownies from box mixes. I think I’ve used my coffee maker twice since moving into my apartment over three years ago. If you ever catch me trying to justify the purchase of a Kitchen Aid mixer just because it’s on a super sale: Drop-kick me.
- Skirts. Much like my nail polish collection, I probably own upwards of 30+ skirts. I wear one maybe– MAYBE– once every 4 months. The one I wear the most often is a knee length, loose-ish, brownish, grayish, cotton-ish Old Navy (I think) hand-me-down from Beth Werning. Beth: This is my favorite skirt ever. Thank you.
I’m sure there’s more- lots more- I could add to this list, but I’ve reached the point where continuing in this vein would cause me to become:
a) depressed at the sheer volume of useless crap overtaking my apartment
b) motivated to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning, and I don’t wanna.
How ’bout you? What do you have just way too much of?