Wednesday, January 17, 2007


One fun thing about preparing to pack up and move is digging through your odds-n-ends and evaluating them... Books, for instance. You've had them in your house for 7 years now (and probably in your previous apartments), but are they WORTHY to move on to your next life??

It takes time to sort these things out. At least 3 hours tonight digging through my bookshelves in every room, making 3 piles: (1) To send to NYC right away; (2) To store at my mom's house, to send later; and (3) To sell.

I'm glad I was able to admit that I no longer needed/wanted my copies of "Effi Briest" or "Great Expectations" or the Russian-language books from college... I do like Dickens, but... I can always check him out from the library if I'm craving him; in the past 7 years, I've never felt the urge to re-read a Dickens book...and so...I must let him go.

The stuff I want mailed right away: Madonna's "Sex"; "Lesbian Pulp Fiction"; "The '60s"; all of my Joan Crawford books; a New York City pictorial; the "Hedwig" play; my Beatles books; books by Mary Gaitskill; various reference books that'll come in handy when I start copyediting in NYC; Grimm's fairy tales... And to be stored and sent later (the biggest stack): My literature and movie books, and all the photo albums/school yearbooks/journals, etc.

Also...the tchotchkes. (That spelling is way wrong!) All the little crappy things that you hang up around your house that make it home...but when it comes down to it, the stuff's kind of cheesy... My sun-burst mirror with a candle burning below it; my New Orleans voodoo doll; my life-size "Scream" blow-up doll; my Virginia Woolf/Shakespeare stuffed dolls; my Marlene Dietrich poster and stand-up; my piece of the Berlin wall (OK, I'm keeping THAT...)...

It's not a horrible task cleaning out stuff... I have a beautiful padded stand-up bar, circa 1960, that my brother is getting... I bought it cheap in San Francisco when I was in grad school there in the mid-'90s, and his wife was always coveting it... it's going to look GREAT in his house, and will be very appreciated, which is what I always wanted for that glamorous bar... My sister-in-law is very nice and is having guilt: "I think I cursed you: I said I wanted it, and now you're getting rid of it..." I pointed out: "You said you wanted it 10 years ago; and I'm not giving it away---it's $200! There's no curse!"

At any rate, it is nice to have the chance to weed out every so often. After a certain age, the rut-thing tends to take over. I'm sure I'll be in my own rut at some point, but I wasn't quite ready for it yet at 41. I want one last gasp at beauty and adventure.

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