Wrapping Up Loose Ends, Part II: Prelude to a Garage Sale

Bernal Heights throws a neighborhood-wide garage sale every year to raise money for the senior center. You pay a fee to the organizers to be "official" and they advertise and promote the whole thing. You keep the money from selling your stuff.

We've never participated before. This year, I'm shedding the weight of all my former lives. (And we've got a new kitchen to pay for, you know.)

For years, I collected every random, weird Buffy the Vampire Slayer thing I could find. I'm keeping some choice items, but this can go.


For awhile there I fancied myself a collector of outsider art. I just had to have this portrait of George W. Bush when I found it on eBay several years ago. And little black and white picture next to W is some woman standing next to Andy Warhol's grave.


The friend of a friend made a series of Wonder Woman lithos in art school.


I bought this at Loretta Lynn's Country Kitchen in Tennessee while roadtripping through the American south several years ago. I have her cookbook for sale too.


I think I've blogged this blue glass bass from my grandmother's house before.


OMG, they gave these out for free at the Sigfried and Roy 3-D IMAX.


Did I just say Sigfried and Roy 3-D IMAX? Yes, I did!


It was amazing.


I'm pretty gay, but just watching that movie made me so. much. gayer.

These are, like, candle holders? They don't "hold" the candle, but you put them around the bottom of big candles; my grandmother put these out on the Thanksgiving dinner table for...35 years of my life. Do you remember Enid's garage sale in the movie Ghost World where she prices everything according to its sentimental value to her? We should sell these for $500.


Someone in my family collected liqueur bottles. I don't know how Flower Child came to me. This will sell immediately.



I bought these leopard print pillows for my first apartment in 1988.


Lots of CDs I just don't need.

Indy rock...


and jazz/folk/classical/comedy...


I was obsessed with this album in 1987/8.


Morton Subotnick! I hope someone cool buys this record.


This is one of my favorite albums of all time. Sylvia Juncosa's an L.A. girl who played fierce electric guitar in second-rate punk bands for several years in the 1980s before making three amazing solo albums, and then as far as I know, retiring from music. This album shreds. Kind of an acquired taste, even for people who listen to punk. I have all her CDs.


These scary dolls were my grandmothers. I love/hate them.


This is a heavy blue plastic apple with a suede leaf and petiole. WTF?


This pole lamp was my aunt's when she was a groovy 60s chick. Then I had it for several years. They just don't make beautiful things like this anymore.


I had an Archie McPhee phase. This is a glow in the dark, water-squirting plastic devil head. I have a whole set. I hope someone cool buys these too.


This copper pipe is probably worth a lot of money. Come buy it cheap at my garage sale!


These are some of my favorite movies.



(That Oliver North tape came from my grandparent's house. They were devoted Repubs.)

Books I don't want to keep...


The Crimson Petal and the White was excellent tho'. I used to really enjoy long novels. The longer the better.

Some non-fiction.


Emergency Sex was very good.

Clip-on earrings and a pin.


We don't need these anymore!


And I certainly will never need this again.


ADDED: Except for some art and some books, we sold everything in these pictures. The scary dolls were the first to go--just minutes after we opened the garage door. One guy bought all my old records and CDs. Someone even paid us for those cardboard boxes in the last picture. No one bought George Bush. Total take: $400.


Annie in Austin said...

Oh, Chuck - thank heavens I don't live near you and your garage sale. No way I'd get out without buying too much. Your aunt's lamp still looks pretty cool.

Good luck!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

JvA said...

Those scary dolls literally made me shiver. Spooky!

Oh, man, Chuck, that VHS of Trilogy of Terror could have netted you $40-$50 a couple years ago when it was out of print, but now it's out again on DVD. It's one of about 20 DVDs that I own. Some others I can think of off-hand:

- Ghost World
- Apocalypse Now
- Naked
- Gimme Shelter
- The Twilight Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection
- The Innocents
- Happiness
- The Lifestyle: Swinging in America (a gift from a former coworker)

LostRoses said...

Every Friday morning I stop at garage sales on my way to work. That usually makes me late to work. But half the fun is seeing what people have and you can tell how much they liked the stuff at one time or felt a nostalgic attachment to it by the price they put on things. It's probably a good thing you didn't price the candle rings at $500.

chuck b. said...

Julie, Gimme Shelter is awesome fun. I love Grace Slick. Happiness is one of my favorites. Pair that with The Opposite of Sex and you're my art-house movie dream date. "A gift from a former co-worker." Yeah, right. Whatever, dude.

Guy's parents were amazed by how much stuff actually sold. Guy priced everything to MOVE. He kind of took charge (did you see my remark in the post about Ghost World?). Meanwhile, I mostly lurked about in the garden and popped in to the garage once in awhile to see if anyone wanted coffee.

A couple people told us we were among the only sellers with realistic garage sale pricing. That was nice to hear. I don't want to be someone who's consumed with getting the right price for everything.

Although I would not have minded taking $40 for Trilogy of Terror.

Oh, funny/favorite story of the day:

Guy's friend Paula came over to sell some of her wares on our sidewalk... We had our old exercise bike out next to where she set up. Paula's not a small girl. Some skinny bitch came by and thought Paula was selling the bike and said with a smirk, "Oh, you gave up on the bike, huh?" How rude is that? But funny! (Because it's so rude!)

And *then*, the same lady haggled Paula down to $1 for a pair of earrings but she gave Paula a $20 and walked off without getting change thinking she'd given Paula a single. In light of the lady's remark, Paula decided not to correct the error.

I can't think of a good reason why making rude, unnecessary remarks shouldn't occasionally cost $19.

When karma bites back that hard, that fast, you just have to make room.

JvA said...

Oh my God, Chuck, you should have blogged the sale. I want to see a picture of skinny bitch!

Also, you should see Mike Leigh's Naked. It's harsh, but if you liked Happiness, you can probablu handle it.

P.S. I am drunk right now.

Phillip said...

You didn't want to keep your Flannery O'Connor stories? Shame of you! LOL She's one of my favorite writers.

Some of your favorite films are faves of mine as well. And yes, the "Trilogy of Terror" used to be worth quite a bit on E-bay. I didn't know that it was now available on dvd - I need to buy that!

mmw said...

I canNOT believe you sold that My Bloody Valentine CD. Seminal. SEMINAL.

Uh, speaking of which, I'm not well qualified to asses your relative gayness (although even I can see how S&R would make it skyrocket), but your full-of-crapness is enormous: there's tons of red passionflowers at SFBG, including one in the parkinglot behind whatever that building's called where they have all the plant society meetings.

mmw said...

OMG I just noticed (sorry, I'm drinking) that Children of God record. I'm pretty sure I had that on cassette, but someone must have copied it for me because I don't remember the cover.

Actually, what I find hard to believe in retrospect is that anyone bought that besides whoever copied it for me. Although it was strangely mesmerizing as I recall.

chuck b. said...

Should I know what you're talking about about red passionflowers? Are you talking about that flower on digging from several days ago? No, I don't think I've ever seen a passionflower quite like that one. And I flatly dispute that there are "tons" of red passionflowers at Strybing. You must have started your drinking there.

Some years after SWANS, I went through a long period of listening to nothing but Japanese noize bands. *That's* what I find hard to believe.

And I never bonded with MBV. I never liked Phil Spector much either if that helps.

chuck b. said...

And Phillip, re: Flannery O'Connor... I remember reading that anthology straight through ca. 1990, but I don't remember it very well now, and I've never deeply enjoyed the short story format. You'll notice I sold John Cheever too, and I absolutely loved his story The Swimmer which was made into a fantastic of the same name starring Burt Lancaster that I recommend to everyone.

Deviant Deziner said...

There is some really cool stuff there !

It figures that no one bought George Bush.
You can't even give that guy away in San Francisco.

Though, if you made it into a dart board I bet it would have great appeal.
I might even buy it just for the shear fun of throwing weapons of mass delusions at him.

lisa said...

Yea, Bush as a dartboard is the only way to go! You had a really cool sale there...wish I coulda dropped by to even hang out and drink coffee. (I need to have my own sale, so I try to control myself by avoiding other peoples' at all cost.) Those dolls are way creepy, which likely makes them more valuable.

Layanee said...

How did you part with all that stuff and why did you still have all that stuff? Really neat stuff though! Love the suede apple now that was a keeper! LOL at all your collectibles. Life in many boxes! What are you going to do with the haul? Buy more stuff?

chuck b. said...

A lot of this stuff came from my grandmother's house when she moved in to assisted living. Some of it was her's and granddad's, and some of it belonged to their kids (my dad, aunts and uncle).

We had a big estate sale in 2002, but I wasn't ready to get rid of everything, so I boxed up a lot of stuff and kept it in my garage.

Except for a few blog posts, I haven't really looked at, or thought much about, any of this stuff since I took it. I couldn't even remember why I thought it was special. So, it was clearly time to let go.

(I've winnowed down to the few select objects from her estate that still mean something to me, and we feature them in our home.)

We're going to put the money toward a exercise treadmill. Which is something I'm really looking forward to after eating microwave dinners and dining out for the last 100 days.

mmw said...

Uh, yeah, sorry. Probably a bad sign that I still listen to Japanese noise bands, if not the Swans.

However: (mostly) red(dish) passionflowers at Strybing.

chuck b. said...

Okay, yes, those passionflowers I've seen. But compare them to the pure red of Pam's neighbor's flower and you tell me they are similar--similar as far as passionflowers go. I don't think they are.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I think I had a nightmare about your grandma's dolls last night. Tell me that you didn't notice how they look a little bit like S&R? *shiver*

But I would totally make room for that blue tulip lamp--sweet. And YAY for karma... I agree that unprovoked nastiness should definitely cost you at least $19 every now and again.

lisa said...

BTW, I kinda freaked out when I saw the tulip lamp...I have a single one in green that's nearly identical hanging over my kitchen sink!