Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blowing through the jasmine of my mind


This is our basement. I'm not proud, believe me. Especially since I'm pretty much the one that has to empty it. We're getting some work done, and it all has to go.

I spent some time on it yesterday. It was nuts - I found stuff from every stage of our lives and from everywhere we'd traveled. I found a brass ashtray in the shape of a shoe that we bought in India. I found my fake Kate Spade handbag. I found issues of the school newspaper from junior high. There were boxes that were packed in Brooklyn in 2002 and never unpacked. And since I'm now gonna die from all the mold spores I inhaled, I leave these notes to testify to what I found.

my dad painted this

My dad painted this during one of his art phases. He's not a bad painter, but he's not that interested in it for some reason. He wasn't very happy with the job he did on this portrait of my aunt's Siamese, so he painted in the blue lines.

September 1991 - the month we went tartan

I have September Vogue for every year back to the mid-1980's. This is 1991. Any time I hear someone protest that the fashion industry is not irrelevant and self-perpetuating, I think of all the times the magazines have tried to talk us into wearing plaid. (Jaime can wear tartan, but the rest of us should just leave it alone.) Meryl Streep's speech about Anne Hathaway's blue sweater in The Devil Wears Prada? Left me totally unconvinced.

Vogue magazine, September 1991

Which is not to say I am not riveted by fashion magazines. Here we see a spread from that issue - the infamous ballgown-and-biker-jacket feature. This picture, shot by Peter Lindbergh back when people like Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, and Claudia Schiffer still modeled for a living, lodged in my mind as the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Minus the leather caps.

ice skates

Can't clean out a basement without finding a pair of skates.

Bob's Yamaha headlight

Bob brought about 12 items with him when he moved in with me in 1997, and this Yamaha motorcycle headlight was one of them. He's never owned a motorcycle - I think he found this on the street and brought it home. Twenty years ago.

Linda Johnson's XXXmas card

This was for a friend's xmas card. She was a photographer with long blonde hair and she wanted a photo that looked like she was making out with Santa. Proof that at some point in my life I have owned something made of lace. I remember I went from this photo shoot directly to my friend Heidi's baby shower. (Hi, Nutmeg!)

ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support

I used to work in medical publishing. I retain quite a bit about cardiology - it's actually pretty straightforward, for medicine.

Elementary Classical Greek by Frederick Williams

I used to be a Classics major. I had 6 semesters of classical Greek in college. Four days a week, 8am, up a long and very narrow staircase, taught by a man who was at least 300 years old, in a class with at most 3 other students. I retain almost zero classical Greek.

I was a graphic designer once

I used to be a graphic designer. Everything I designed was the color of candy.

Look hard enough in my house and you will always find a nose flute

Look hard enough anywhere in my house and you will always find a nose flute. You know what sounds good on the nose flute? "The Great White North." Koo loo-koo-koo koo loo-koo-choo!

Collection of button ladies

A bunch of little hat model ladies made of a button, scraps of felt, and a few sketched lines. I'm guessing Grandma. They totally make me think of the department store modeling scene in How to Marry a Millionaire.

Button lady!

Doesn't this one look like Marilyn Monroe?

Tiny china kitties playing instruments

A box of tiny china kitties playing instruments, all in various stages of broken.

eyeball candle

An eyeball candle.

Lady Stetson!

A bottle of Lady Stetson.

LIFE: The Year in Pictures, 1983

LIFE: The Year in Pictures, 1983. "Flyin' high and feelin' free, we're the class of '83!" Reagan. Quadafy. Ewoks. Mariel Hemingway. Has survived many such memorabilia purges, but not this one.

Greek shoulder bag

A leather shoulder bag I bought in Greece in 1994, killed by mold.

alarm clock

The alarm clock from my red-white-and-blue bedroom in my parents' house. That room was decorated in 1972 with striped vinyl wallpaper and white shag wall-to-wall, and stayed that way until the early '90's when they turned it into my dad's office.

the BVM loves metal

A planter in the shape of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I do not get why Christianity allows its icons to be used in this way. I'm grateful, don't get me wrong, but if it were my religion, I think I'd have a little more respect.

YNL loves metal too

And the only reason we kept her is because her middle fingers had broken off like that.