Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Old Oddities; A Clean Desk

For the first time since the task of Toys was unceremoniously dumped on me at the start of Covid three years ago (three years? can it be?!), I have sorted (almost) all the toys . . . AND the books.
I plowed through them in the last few days--not stopping to repair or research--just slapping price stickers on and putting them OUT.

I also processed a lot of vintage stuff that I'd set aside over time, intending to give it special attention. I probably should price vintage stuff when it arrives, and get it out of the way--I rarely have any empty time later to devote to it. But I like to keep it around for a while and enjoy it--until it becomes buried in other stuff... I wore a mask to sort this because it had become so dusty. Again, I just gave each item a slap and a shove out the door.

The minute I put the baskets out in my Cool Old Books and Things section, a cloud of customers descended. Old oddities are popular.
Below are photos of some of the goodies.

I often rescue vintage linens from textile recycling, with loud exclamations––THESE ARE SO COOL!––so now coworkers, including Lousie Supershopper, whose job it is to price linens–– sometimes put them on my desk. "Make an effort, and effortful tasks shall henceforth be given unto you."
These days of the week towels are always popular:

And, below, vintage hankies too. Love those old portraits...  I think the blond is one of the children from Village of the Damned (a Midwich Cuckoo), now-grown.

The best basket, below. The Royal Copenhagen is a raccoon plate for Mother's Day. The fish skeleton is an outdoor thermometer--for an ice-fishing house?
Yes, indeed ^ JESUS, HELP ME! It is all tooooo much!!!

(The stuffies are not old. I'd taken Monkey home months ago and washed them (nonbinary monkey). I thought I'd put them out, but there they were, hanging out with
Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger, she/her.)

I put out a lot of old children's books too.
BELOW: A couple illustrations: Puppies (tearing up gloves), and the cover of Peter Pan (Marz makes that same face):

BELOW: Little squeezy-rubber corgi in dino suit, and Viking duck bowl

BELOW: I took Po to the PO and mailed her to Berlin. My young Instagram friend there, who's bedridden with immune disorders, had commented that said she'd had a Po just like this one when she was little (this Po is from 1998)--and then Po was agitating to go live with her! I'm sending her as a Valentine's Day present.
But geez--it cost $17 to mail Po (used to be $14), and she weighed only 6 oz., including packing tape.

'Bye, Po, I'll miss you!
I felt a little tug, but honestly, I don't like to own too many toys. I can hardly keep up with the ones I have!

I have the perfect job--I get to enjoy stuff, then move it along.
I LOVE old oddities & toys--you can tell, right? And I totally enjoy other people's homes full of curiosities. I'd even sort of like to be a person who collects and attends to stuff. But too much stuff in my home makes me nervous. I tend to feel smothered or burdened, I resent taking care of it (esp. cleaning, which I am too lazy to keep up with), and so I clear it out after a while.

Speaking of flying, I just checked-in for a flight tomorrow to Albuquerque--I'm going to see friends in Santa Fe for a few days. My first time flying since Covid. I can't even remember when I last flew...
I think it was to Dallas in 2018--I was on a panel of authors of children's nonfiction books at a library convention.

Just Us Folx

How my life has changed! From public speaking as an author, to ...where am I now? The thrift store is next door to the bottom of the social scale. Or, across the street--the folx on the corner are really living on the bottom, by US standards.

(Have you noticed the new spelling of "folks": folx? I think it's a spillover from using "x" as a gender-neutral plural ending in languages with gendered vowels (did I explain that right?)---Latinx in Spanish, instead of Latinos or Latinas.)

I'm still working with books though. A stranger left a comment on an IG photo of me with books at work, "I can see you are an intellectual woman".
Ha! Just the sort of thing a bot would say!
I recognize its perky yet weirdly flat tone and overly correct grammar now, having talked to ChatGPT for a few hours. (It got boring--reading Wikipedia is more fun and productive (since it has links to sources)--so I quit chatting with it.) Also, the AI lied to me! It said its developers, OpenAI, were non-profit. But the Washington Post article, "
What to know about OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT?" (2/5/23), said OpenAI became for-profit in 2019. (I confirmed this.)

Still, the comment made me think about how I appear. Customers do treat me differently from my coworkers because of BOOK's. They praise me ("you do such a good job curating the books") and give me recognition as a person such as they are--a person who reads [implied, "must be smart"]--for instance.

Anyway, I pushed hard so I could leave for a week feeling good about clearing my work space––though clearing out donations wouldn't have been possible if incoming donations weren't super slow, which they have been. February is often a slow month for donations. The weather is a little warmer--in the 30s this week--but the snow is still piled high, and the roads are icy as it thaws and refreezes.

This, below, is as empty as my workspace has ever been. Some games and puzzles remain (Abby the puzzler volunteer is out for the month--I filled the sales floor shelves though). The rest is mostly pricing and bagging equipment and books I'm saving for displays. And my personal clutter (my wall, for instance).
I wish I'd mopped the floor before I left, but I doubt it will be visible when I return--most likely it will be buried under donations. I hope so!
I might not be blogging (or just posting photos?)---
have a good week ahead, everyone!


gz said...

Have a great week away x

Michael Leddy said...

Fly well, Fresca!

Ms. Moon said...

Isn't "folks" sort of non-gendered already?
What's next? "Y'allx?"
Lord, you do have an interesting job. I would fall in love way too frequently but I suppose you have had time to calm down a bit when it comes to that sort of thing.
Peter Pan is freaky.
I sure hope you have a great time in Santa Fe. I was there once and it was definitely a place I'd visit again and for a longer time.

Fresca said...

Thanks, GZ & MICHAEL!

MS MOON: I looked up “folk”—found an article in in Cosmopolitan (of all places--how times change) that said, as I’d guessed, that it’s a carryover of the gender-neutral x:
“ In the word ‘folks,’which has no gender to begin with, the ‘x’ is less a sign of neutrality and more an active stance.It’s a wink to the queer community, like a flag or a pin, to demonstrate that you’re a safe, accepting presence—either an ally or a queer person yourself.”

But “x” wouldn’t work with “y’all”, as you suggest, since there is no “-cks” sound.

I’ve never been to Santa Fe! I’m looking forward to seeing the plants—very different than here up north.

Heh, yeah--Peter Pan *is* freaky—I mean, in the original.

Linda Sue said...

SanFran- your work area is SO tidy and clean. My house never looks like that. Book lady's are always the most intelligent gals in the house. You are it.
Have a splendid trip, I am excited! I have never been to north NM. Have always wanted to go. A bunch of photos would be good. Stay safe and well. Xx

Bink said...

Your space is SO tidy! Wonderful feeling to leave things in good order. And boy, does that Peter Pan look like Marz…in full pout mode: hahaha!