Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year Baby!

The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.
~Hartley Coleridge

Baby Ivo rings in 2007
full of hope, glamour and sass!

Each age has deemed the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer.
~Walter Scott

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~Anaïs Nin

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Goodbye 2006

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Oscar Wilde

Well, the new year is almost upon us and it only seems fitting to think a little bit about 2006 before it passes us by for good. I can safely say that I learned a lot this year, took some chances, won some and lost some, thought some big thoughts, had some nice cuddles, cooked many meals, danced up a storm, sent many emails, edited a shitload of video content, started blogging and posting to YouTube and became a techno addict.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Albert Einstein

The other day I was getting some papers signed at Champlain College in anticipation of my upcoming classes. I had that weird new student feeling, probably in part, because it has been over 10 years since I was last in school. I wasn't sure where the right building was or who was supposed to sign this piece of paper. I felt awkward and unsure and that felt sort of nice.

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

Confused, I ended up outside again facing down Main St from the middle of the hill. The sun was setting over the water and the little town of Burlington appeared straight out of a children's storybook. To be specific, it reminded me of the bustling town of Market Chipping from Diana Wynne Jone's book, Howl's Moving Castle.

I have a distant memory of this view, one so old and time worn that I am not even sure if it originates from a dream or an actual memory. For the many years that I've been absent from Burlington, I've remembered this hazy memory of this view and mused about it.

I sped along mazes of freeways and bridges, traversed BART trains and MUNI, watched the ocean ebb and flow - but there was always a special place in my heart for this view and for this town.

"Hope is the dream of a soul awake.
French Proverb

And even if I am sometimes conflicted about being here, I had a positive moment of clarity standing on that hill looking out over my town. I know I am supposed to be here right now and I am glad to be here. It feels right.

And as 2007 rolls around, I have hope. Hope for a new year filled with exciting new challenges, struggles, lessons, learning, and experiences. Hope can be hard to come by. As years pass and life loses its youthful luster, it is sometimes hard to hold out for hope and a new day.

But looking out at this magical landscape, it is impossible not to feel hope. And I hope I have hope until the day I die. Because really what else is there?


Oh, so much fun to wake up and open the curtain to the sight of WHITE WHITE everywhere! Even through my crappy blurry eyes I could see that the world was covered in SNOW! Finally the weather has turned around and we are in a proper Vermont December snowstorm.

From the warmth of my bed, I watched little kids pulling a circular sled to the big hill nearby. I'd like to follow them over there and bum a ride down but instead, I need to spend the day cooped up inside snipping away and guzzling pots of tea.

Even though the January episode of The Deadbeat Club won't air 'till January 5th (we hope), there is SO much to do these days what with New Year's parties, going away parties and a full week of work. Sheesh! 2007, I am looking forward to your arrival.

Let's hope I can make it through the stacks of bills awaiting me and the piles of paperwork I have yet to shove into the right folder. Not to mention the intimidating towers of dirty and clean clothes waiting anxiously to be dealt with. Where is my damn ladies maid??

My TO DO list keeps getting longer and longer and wait a minute, aren't I a DEADBEAT?! I shouldn't have much of anything to do, right?

The one drawback to all this snow is that Miss Abbie may not be able to make the drive up tonight as was hoped. We were gonna have girl night in front of the fire complete with knitting, hot rum and cider, girl talk, record spinning, cat play time and a cozy house covered in a thick blanket of snow. Sigh, if you decide not to brave the treacherous roads, another time Pooka Puck??

And btw, IT IS STILL SNOWING! Has not stopped once ALL DAY! YIPPEEEEE!!!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Brooklyn's Last Old-Lady House

A place from my memories is sort of famous (link). And, apparently, desirable.

A brownstone on Brooklyn's Sterling Place has just been sold to the shiny baby-on-the-way celeb couple du jour, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard (let's call them the Scandinavian Double A's).

And a writer for the snarky New York Observer is melancholy about, nay, devastated by the sale. Why? Did she grow up in the house? Does she have fond memories of it? Did her grandma promise to will it to her and then forget? No. She just seems to feel the house is hers by right because she's a goddamn architecture snob.

Panic coursed through my veins: “The last old-lady house in the North Slope, the last four-story for under $2 million, get it, get it, get it, I will save it, I will love it so much, the money will come, I will rent it all and sleep in one of the clawfoot tubs....”
- Miranda Purves, New York Observer

Maggie G says,
"Step off Bitch, the last old-lady house is MINE!
Mooah haw haw!!!"

Well, I sympathize with her. Everybody who's worth knowing is a snob about something or has weird little obsessions like original light fixtures. Me, I'd be devastated if someone bought the house at Shelburne Farms and turned it into high-priced condos, or if Brad and Angelina purchased it as a playground for the 50 orphans they'll have adopted by then.

But this Brooklyn brownstone is different, because it's really not Miranda Whatever's house, whatever she thinks. It's MY house. Well, it's in my actual childhood memories, and that's just as good.

When we lived in Manhattan, we always had big old West Side apartments, but nothing swanky. I coveted the brownstones on the streets leading to Central Park, but I didn't know anyone who lived in one. However, my mother's good friend D (I'm omitting her real name to protect her privacy) lived in a gorgeous four-story Park Slope brownstone, a house right out of Harriet the Spy. D's husband was in something fairly lucrative like advertising. They had a daughter, E, between my age and Eva's, who I thought was a huge brat. (I've since heard she turned out fine and works as an upscale party planner.)

The family had a tragedy in its past, too, or what the people who write back-of-book blurbs would call a tragedy. There'd been an older child, a boy my age, who played with me back in the days pre-age four that are too murky to remember.

One day he got sick and just… died. The illness was rare, and it all happened very fast. D told my mother the last time she saw her son alive was when the doctors put him in an oxygen tent. She sternly told him to be a good boy and not complain. Those stern last words haunted her over the years.

Sexy Maggie G says,
"Ah yes, senseless tragedy,
as an actress I can understand this..."

I don't remember when J disappeared, but as I grew up visiting this house regularly, its sad history stayed in my head. D was a loud and angry and sharp-tongued woman, compared with my mom, and she scared the hell out of me. In retrospect, I think she kind of kicked ass. One of my most vivid memories of D is when she brought my mom a bag of pastries, some exotic and some not, for the two families to share. While D was elsewhere, my mom gave us kids our choice.

D was scandalized when she returned: "What were you thinking?! You gave the children the birds' nests! Doughnuts are for children, Sophie; birds' nests are for adults!" I haven't lost my affection for exotic pastries or my belief that kids should be able to eat whatever grownups eat, but I have some appreciation now for an adult who can draw the line.

Anyway, um, the house. Let me tell you about the house that Spawn of the Double A's will be reared in. Unlike Miranda, I don't know the first thing about architecture, but even as a kid I knew what I liked. I liked the bed in the guest bedroom, because it was recessed in the wall, and above your head was a sort of molded plaster canopy that had a fancy knob right in the middle. I desperately wanted to sleep under that canopy, but we seldom stayed overnight.

The same room was home to a huge set of foot-long cardboard blocks that were painted like bricks and were awesome for building forts. Through the window you could see the courtyard. But, to be honest, the very most important part of this house for me was downstairs in the dark, basement-level rec room, and that was the television.

We didn't have one at home, see, because my parents didn't believe in such things. It was at D's house that I first watched Sesame Street (the monsters scared the shit out of me) and The Electric Company and possibly even Zoom! They seemed very tedious to me because by that time I could read, and I just kinda never got the humor or the aesthetic. But I hoped they would do my bratty little sister some good.

My sister got in some wicked major fights with D, two strong-willed females that they were and are, and Eva held her own in terms of screaming and squealing. D's hubby wasn't around much, my dad was off with his new cute blonde girlfriend, and my mom pretended she wasn't there during the fighting. I also ran afoul of D for being a drama queen who would run off and sob loudly at the drop of a hat.

Maggie G says,
"Aww, these memories are sweet...

Even after we moved to the boonies, we continued to visit D whenever we were back in NYC. I have shards of memory from the junior-high years, like admiring my butt in Sergio Valente jeans (remember that steer-horns logo?) in an old cloudy mirror of the Double-A-house-to-be. Or playing card games at the dining room table while shadows grew blue in the courtyard and I was too busy concocting fantasy scenarios about Han Solo to pay proper attention.

I haven't been back to the brownstone in decades. Meanwhile, D's husband died and D herself was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She's been fighting it for many years now and is still active: too tough to quit. She stays in touch with my mom.

Mags and Pete communicate via telepathy,
"Could we BE any MORE adorable?"

I don't blame her for selling the house to the Double A's for nearly two million dollars, if the Observer is correct. (My mom quoted the figure as a mil, but she's foggy on some practical details. She also asked me who Maggie Gyllenhaal was and how can this "nobody" really be a movie star?)

I hope the Double A's enjoy the house, but mainly I'm glad Miranda-I'm-married-to-a-rich-Manhattan-lawyer didn't get it. You just know she's got a New York gym rat butt that would look better in those old streaky mirrors than mine ever did.

Editor's note from "the bratty little sister," otherwise known as the bratty Eva the Deadbeat: props to James (who is now neighbors with the fair Maggie G) for giving me a heads up on these articles.

Who knew Park Slope had changed so much since we were kids? And should you want to case the joint, it is right by Gorilla Coffee...say hello to Mags and Pete!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Are You a Slitherer-outer?

Diana Wynne Jones has been my favorite author for as far back as I can remember. As with many good things in my life, it was my sister who first introduced me to Diana's books. I think the first one I read was Dogsbody (my sister's favorite) and I was hooked.

Imagine that the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and every stellar body in the sky are alive and conscious, possessed by great spirit beings known as "illuminaries." This is the story about one of the greatest of such entities, Sirius - the Dogstar. - Caesar M. Warrington

You know when you find an author whose books feel like home to you? That is what Diana's books are to me. I open her pages and instantly feel like I am with old friends, whether I am reading her book for the first or the fifteenth time.

Diana pre-dates Harry Potter and even wrote a book about a school of magicians called Witch Week FAR before JK Rowling was sitting in her favorite cafe scribbling about a school full o'wizards. The good thing about Harry Potter's success is that it has brought more attention to authors like Diana. JK even gives her props. So I guess that little whiny, predictable Potter stinker brain is good for something!

Diana's books are hard to encapsulate. They expertly weave the normal everyday with the fantastic and the unreal. In her world(s), there are many alternate realities and average kids stumble upon them, usually by accident in situations of great duress.

Within these worlds, there are all sorts of haphazard characters: distracted magicians, bitchy witches, nasty mothers, vain wizards, fireplace bullies and magic cats. Her characters are not cookie cutter dull, each one has distinct motivations that set him/her/it apart.

Reading her books always makes me hungry because her descriptions of steaming hot tea and thick slices of bread drizzled with butter and honey make me salivate. She feeds all five of your senses with her rich descriptions. Her books give me sensory overload.

Thankfully, the first film adapted from her book, Howl's Moving Castle, was Japanese anime made by Hayao Miyazaki and his amazingly talented Studio Ghibli. It is unlikely that this book could have amounted to anything worthwhile in another director's hands.

Miyazaki took a faint imprint of Diana's book and took off soaring in one of his flying machines with it. He added his own impressions and style to her solid story thread and created a beautiful collaboration.

Sitting in the darkened theater, watching that movie for the first time, I wept. It was so good and I never thought I would be lucky enough to watch one of Diana's books made into a touching film.

Afterwards, I ambled up Church St and couldn't get the theme song out of my head. Church St is not unlike Market Chipping in Howl's Moving Castle. In fact, it is quite similar to many of Diana's small towns full of ancient cobblestone streets and heavy with fate.

I felt like I was enshrouded in a magical gloss and around any corner I might stumble upon a rip in the fabric of this dimension and, if I tripped, I might fall through to another world. And that would only be the beginning of my adventure...

Ultimately, Diana's books have to be read to be enjoyed. I could never do them justice with my measly descriptions. But this here QUIZ is a great way to get a feel for her work. It helps you decide which Diana Wynne Jones character you are.

I turned out to be Howl (the grandest slithererouter of them all) from Howl's Moving Castle. No big surprise there! Here are some of the quiz's questions which are damn brilliant. Questions we should all ask ourselves at one time or another:

Are you lost (or travelling)
  • in time?
  • in space?
  • in one or more alternative world?
  • in a dream?
  • in a nightmare?
  • in no way - it's everyone else who's lost?
  • in confusion?

    Are you:
  • fully human?
  • mostly human?
  • slightly human?
  • superhuman?
  • not human at all?

    Is your idea of "a happy ending:"
  • to find or be reunited with your family?
  • to marry the person you are in love with?
  • to know that you have saved the world (or some equivalent)?
  • to solve your immediate problems (and incidentally save the whole situation)?
  • to achieve your proper position or job in life?
  • to start proper training or to learn what you have always wanted to learn?
  • to come to terms with the life that has been forced on you?
  • to make the life that has been forced upon you come to terms with you?
  • a bit of peace and quiet for a change?

PS And did I mention that these books are supposedly for "kids?" Pfft.

Going Nowhere Fast

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
William Blake
"Auguries of Innocence"

There is something unique and entrancing about David Crawford's Stop Motion Series. It is voyeurism at its best, served with a healthy dose of normalcy and the everyday. I could spend hours watching these brief little human moments pass by in all their glorious bumpy starts and stops.

I have always been fascinated with people on subways. I do the delicate dance of looking without appearing to look. After all, the very WORST thing you can do in a city is get caught staring at someone, it could lead to an unpleasant incident, or at the very least, it makes you stand out like a country mouse.

One summer when I was 18 yrs old, I lived on the Upper West Side and worked in the East Village. It took me one long agonizing hour and three trains to get to my destination each day. This also happened to be during the commuting hours when the trains were packed to their gills.

I practiced building a hard insulated bubble around myself so that my instinctual claustrophobia was NOT allowed to overtake me when a stranger's sweaty elbow jabbed into my chest. This bubble took a lot of strength to maintain when every bit of me was fighting against it.

Deep down I wanted to yell and scream and claw my way out of that sardine package, but another part of me felt calm and restful to be a part of this human mush. These stop mo pieces bring those bittersweet memories flooding back to me. And also, the musky smell of a New York City subway tunnel and the rush of warm air that precedes a train's arrival.

I got us on a hiway, I got us in a car
Got us going faster than we've ever gone before
And I know it ain't gonna last
When I see your eyes arrive
they explode like two bugs on glass
- Mercury Rev

In the Stop Motion Studies by David Crawford, the minute twitches and cues that abound in daily interactions are edited together, creating their own language and communication system. These tics – these tiny gestures – are the kinds of things we're socialized to ignore, and yet they are what many people miss in an environment like Second Life, where interactions are smoothed over and these gestures are absent.

It is said that 90% of human communication is non-verbal. In these photographs, the body language of the subjects becomes the basic syntax for a series of animations exploring movement, gesture, and algorithmic montage. Many sequences document a person’s reaction to being photographed by a stranger. Some smile, others snarl, still others perform. Some pretend not to notice. Underneath all of this are assumptions and unknowns unique to each situation. David Crawford about his Stop Motion Studies

Finally, and most apparently, "Stop Motion Studies" affords a unique glimpse into the people who are its subjects -- a window into their souls previously invisible to both film and still photography. Crawford's project is ultimately less about subways and cities and film history and computer software than it is about human souls in space and time. - Curt Cloninger

Yet since the frames are displayed randomly, any sense of continual, linear motion is lost. The trains literally appear to be going nowhere fast. Like Zeno's paradoxical arrow, the trains are perpetually in motion, and yet they never arrive. This underscores the empathy we feel for the passengers who are trapped in a kind of modern purgatory -- an in-between time/space they perfunctorily inhabit on their way from "somewhere" to "somewhere else." Curt Cloninger

Ultimately "Stop Motion Studies" reveals not ideals or grand themes, but individuals. This is both its charm and its melancholy. In every city visited (Boston, New York, Paris, Tokyo) we find characters of distinction, verve, and even nobility; yet they are all going nowhere fast. As these micro-instances unravel before us and we begin to glimpse the wonder and beauty contained within each moment, most of the actual subjects are oblivious to the import of "their own" moments. Curt Cloninger

PS Thanks to Lani for this great link.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

DBCV12: VCAM Shoot

Seth had a great idea to make a VCAM (Vermont Community Access Media) commercial that will eventually air on local channels. So they asked some of their producers to come down and shoot some bits at the VCAM studios. Bill even blogged about it here and here (the second is a post about THIS post! PGUON).

Saturday was rainy and the sky was dark and overcast. Inside the cozy VCAM studios, Seth, Bill and Brad were working like busy bees to get each shot set up to perfection. My bit was pretty simple. I sat at an IMac and uploaded videos to YouTube. What, no lines?

The funny thing was, doing nothing was really hard to do! When you have a face like a clown and energy pouring out of your eyeballs, sitting still at a computer without making any faces is really tough! So if I make it into the final cut of the commercial, I will probably have an awkward pained expression which is what happens to me when I try to appear "normal" (just how does one do that anyways)?

The other amusing thing about this shoot was how professional it was. Each shot took much time to light and set up. This was especially humorous when compared to the final installment of The Offasty that we were shooting haphazardly at work last week.

Because we were in the process of moving offices, attending Xmas parties and "working," we had to shoot little bits here and there on the DL. In my head was a vague rough draft of the plot and I tried really hard to check off shots mentally and keep continuity roughly in check. Each of us took turns holding the camera, including my mom who happened to be there.

So the final scene has awful coverage, crappy ass lighting and is being held by a 72 year old hand. Still, we never would have managed to get this thing done if we had played by all the rules, lit properly, locked off shots and set things up perfectly.

I guess in the long run, I am more of a guerrilla filmmaker than a fancy professional. Granted, I know I need to learn the "right" way to shoot things so then I can actively choose to do things as I please. I hope to learn the "right" way to do things in school this year!

In the meantime, here is a vlog displaying this funny juxtaposition of shooting styles:

DBCV11: Christmas!

DBCV11: Christmas! in which the deadbeats unwrap their presents and discover many goodies: slippers, yoga clothes, Urban Decay make-up, books, paper supplies, lots o'socks, Ab Fab and lots of old fashioned love!

It is pretty good to be a deadbeat and even better when your sister makes a feast fit for a king. This deadbeat spent Christmas day relaxing with some Absolutely Fabulous, left-over Christmas present knitting, and her brand new foot bath!

And then over to Bill and Emily's for some treacherous Mafia fun (me thinks Margot is hooked) in which I managed to kill an entire town by accident. Oops... ;)

Aaaah, life is good.

And remember, like The Specials sing in the following vlog montage:

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think

What a Wonderful World

"I hear babies cry, I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know."

When they sing it, I sort of almost believe it:

PS Thanks for finding this Scott!

Hot Hot Hot Jett

This song makes it all better:

Monday, December 25, 2006

Xmas Dreams

This video comes courtesy of a sexy Spanish girl's blog, Dadanoias, which came courtesy of this hot guy Jan's blog, Jahsonic. Jan has an interesting take on both high and low culture as well as an impressive blogroll and says of Dadanoias:

  • Since about six months I’ve been reading Dadanoias, a young woman from Barcelona whose interests are sex and music. She has very good tastes in both, but her forte is the first.
YES! If only I could read Spanish! Below is a mix mash of Cinderella and the Cranberries - a romantic poppy montage after my own heart. A must see for foot fetishists the world over!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

DBCV10: Happy Holidays

For many years now, I've been busting my ass to send out hand drawn Christmas cards far and wide. I even managed to mail them in 2005 when I was working Sundance in Salt Lake City (granted, that was a crappy card).

This year was too hectic to get cards out in time so I made a video card (also a wee bit on the crappy side but think of all the saved paper!). It is more info than you would ever care to know about the deadbeats as they look back on 2006 and forward to 2007.

Like a pack of hummingbirds on crack, the deadbeats cover lots of ground: The Road Warrior, red giants, white dwarves, eye lifts, flat screen TVs, 250 woody plants, trees and shrubs, dancing with office supplies, peak oil, sunsets, The Pogues, the lake, clouds and amputated testicles.

It's just another average day in the deadbeat universe. What will the future hold for this family of deadbeats? Watch and see...

DBCV9: Montreal

Time for a trip across the border with Eva and Scott:

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Christmas Your Arse

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one

I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas

I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

When I think of my favorite Christmas songs, The Pogues Fairytale of New York is at the top of my list. It is the sort of bittersweet song that properly captures the Christmas spirit in all its shades of gray.

Says wonderful Wikipedia, "The song features two Irish immigrants, lovers or ex-lovers, their youthful hopes all but crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, reminiscing and bickering on Christmas Eve in New York City. MacColl's melodious singing contrasts with the harsh sound of MacGowan's voice and the lyrics which are sometimes bittersweet, sometimes plain bitter":
You're a bum
You're a punk

You're an old slut on junk

Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed

You scumbag, you maggot

You cheap lousy faggot

Happy Christmas your arse

I pray God it's our last

Yes, yes, I know that this does not sound like much of a Christmas song but "real" Christmas songs make me want to hurl. This song has all the pain, suffering and cussing that the holidays inspire in those of us sick to death of sickly sweet cornball Christmas mush. And underneath the waves of heartbreak and crushed dreams, there is a glimmer of hope which seems impossible to snuff out completely:

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone

You took my dreams from me

When I first found you

I kept them with me babe

I put them with my own

Can't make it all alone

I've built my dreams around you

Embedded below is a live version of the song from 1988, complete with fake snow. You can also check out the music video here.

You gotta love Shane in all his toothless, piss drunk glory, especially since he still manages to hit every note and snarl with pitch-perfect perfection. Kirsty seems a bit wooden and nervous but that is part of her charm.

Sadly, Kirsty was killed by a motorboat in 2000 while pushing her son to safety. She will be sorely missed. Said former Pogues vocalist and guitarist Phil Chevron about Kirsty:

"Ummistakably, the tour bus was a classier joint with her on board," Chevron writes. "She shared our insatiable musical curiosity and our appetite for hair-brained schemes. A folk-punk opera, or an all-Pogue recording of West Side Story."

So in Kirsty's honor, let's all drunkenly sing along to, The Fairytale of New York:

Chunky Pam's XMas

This video will make you hungry:

Myles' Merry Xmas

Merry Christmas from 19 yr old Myles, a prolific British video blogger:

When I was 18 yrs old and at The University of East Anglia in Norwich (south of London), I lived in the dorms and shared a hallway with a British boy named Miles Davis. He was white and did not like jazz music.

He was, however, a sloppy drunk and a bit of a perv. He would knock on my door late at night and beg to come in to tell me about his relationship woes with Sunshine, the American bird who also lived on our hall.

Out of all those drunken British boys and American girls that I shared a hallway with, Miles Davis was my favorite. This story has absolutely nothing to do with Myles' Christmas video blog. But what can I say, one cute as pie teenage Brit inspires memories of another hot little British smart ass.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Leaving the Nest

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life before we can enter another.
Anatole France

Today was moving day at the ol'Offasty. So it was with XMas party hang overs that Suzanne and I began to trade offices. I tend to fill up every space I inhabit, packing it to the brim with knick knacks, pictures, doo dads and bits-n-pieces o' junk.

Suzanne keeps a tidy office with everything in its place and clean surfaces a plenty. We knew the move was going to be tough but oh my, so much crap to sort through!

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
Harold Wilson

Moving day has never been much fun for me. Being a sentimental old sop who carries around too much junk, I get wrapped up in the emotional meaning of the move and find it impossible to break apart a space that once held so much meaning for me.

Example: "Oh, this plastic toy cat, I remember when Kelly put this thingamagig on top of my birthday cake that one time, sigh, oh the memories!"

And just what on earth am I supposed to do with this cat now? Throw it away? NO! Too wasteful, I could need it someday?! So I put it in a box and put off trying to find a place for it until later, when it ends up under my bed.

The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.
Henry Miller

I am not even sure how it is that I manage to accumulate so much crap. I think it is one of those things where lots of crap begets MORE crap! I am just one of those junk-loving ladies that people give things to.

Example: "That pretty hat in my attic that I don't know what to do with ...the one with the floppy brim, I think I'll give it to Eva! She'll find something creative to do with it!"

If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change.
John A. Simone, Sr.

This is not in ANY way to diss junk and the people who give it to me. I love ALL my junk! So much so that I clutter up every single space I occupy with more junk. There are dried orchids from a year ago (sentimental value), a Starbucks lollipop that Abbie gave me when I was sad once, postcards from all over the world, ancient Valentines, drawings by kids, Barbie legs, a fur wrap, a body leotard with a tiger tail, and piles of paper clips.

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Confucius

Once Andrea looked around my office and said smugly, "You're a nester, aren't you?" So true. Every nest I move in to gets decorated with the bright shiny objects that strike my fancy.

And that makes moving so much harder. Because the bright shiny objects take on a life of their own. The person who gave it to you becomes somehow connected to the stuff and it is hard to throw the person/old sticky note in the trash.

It is never too late to become what you might have been.
George Eliot

Big emotional moves like this remind me of the other painful moves in my life. It doesn't help that my small family has been moving almost yearly for as far back as I can remember. We left Cherry Valley when I was 3 yrs old for Manhattan. Left the Big Apple for Vermont when I was 7 yrs old. And moved from apartment to apartment in both the city and the country. Flying from nest to nest like a frenetic family of hummingbirds.

Some of my earliest memories are packing up my things into boxes. Throwing things out and agonizing over what could come to my new home (nest). I envy people who grew up in one home. I can't even begin to imagine what this would be like. Would I be less of a junk collector if my childhood had been more stable?

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.Flora Whittemore

One of my hardest moves was leaving Indiana when I was 16 yrs old. I was moving to Massachusetts to go to college and I had a gaggle of close friends that I was loathe to leave. After all my bits of junk were packed away and shipped, my friends came with me to the airport. It was so hard to say goodbye to them that I cried and cried on the plane, like a little baby.

It is almost as though I knew deep down that, as time went on, I would lose touch with my friends and we would replace each other with new faces and new rooms full of junk. And the sad thing is, we did. I couldn't tell you what those people are doing today. But I still have notes they wrote me because I don't have the guts to throw these artifacts away.

The key to change... is to let go of fear. Rosanne Cash

Worse still was graduating and leaving college four years later. The sucky thing about college is that you have to set up your room every year and then break it all down and move it back home again. Talk about massive pain for someone like me who hates to move (even though I should be really damn good at it by now).

But the final move was more painful than I thought possible. I was 19 yrs old when I graduated and I had come of age around these people and places. The last months had been insanely busy with finishing my dissertation, exams, and tying up loose ends. Then came graduation and parties and plans and a date book packed full of shit.

After the whirlwind passed by, I still had to pull an all nighter to frantically pack up my room full o' junk while my freshmen boy toy lay asleep in bed.

The weight of this change finally sunk in and I felt terrified and alone. But excited too, not sure what this change would bring and how the hell I was going to fit all this crap into my mothers car.

I moved to California months later and embarked on a strange and interesting second act. Who knew that 10 years later I would b
e back in Vermont and mourning a big move out of the Flynn.

We change, whether we like it or not Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leaving my killer window office with a view of Main St was painful to say the least. But watching Suzanne re-organize the space to fit her better (less junk, more open space, good changes!) was exciting too. And as I get ready for the final move which comes in early January, I am glad I did the hard part and moved the junk.

After all, it isn't the view and the office brimming with junk that I will miss, it is the smiling face of Suzanne peering around my office door every morning and asking me how I am doing. And these memories will stick with me longer than all the piles of junk which will not fit into my junk-filled (nest) home.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.Pericles