Thursday, January 18, 2018

Highlights From the Storage Unit

So there was all this talk of the storage unit, right: I'm back in the U.S. to sell all my stuff, we have this huge storage unit, I have so much shit, I'm here to empty it, I don't know if I can get it done in time, etc. etc.

I already talked all about how and why this became a thing in the first post I wrote after having moved here to Hamburg - the one that explains a lot of the last seven years or so of my life - so there's no need to go into detail again. If we're friends you've probably seen pictures already, but because of the enormity of the task and what it represented (re: permanently quitting America), I felt like it deserved its own post. 

Plus, I do have a lot of shit, and a lot of it is really cool shit. :B

So here's what it looked like when I got to my mom's place 
(very conveniently, the storage unit was directly next door to her apartment). 

Stacked all the way up to the ceiling and all the way to the door, so that you could just barely open it and squeeze through. Those ceilings were very high, too; I want to say like 14 feet? And the creature was 21 feet long, with just a narrow space left in the middle for shimmying through. Slaying a dragon is an extremely nerdy but perfectly apt analogy. Except I was slaying a whole house worth of stuff going back to the 1970's in a massive closet the size of a shipping container, like those ones they put on the backs of semi trucks. 

Many of these boxes are the XL size that you can easily crouch down and fit into (unless you're as tall as Hannes), and many of them were far too heavy for me to move in any meaningful way, much less lift. A lot of them I went through and emptied right there in the unit, and to get those top ones down, I would first clear one of the stacks adjacent, and then carefully work it over into the empty space with my fingertips (because that height was the limit of my reach), slowly sliding it down the wall and to the floor with the strength in my thighs. Because, I mean, the strength in my fingertips is basically representative of that in the entirety of my upper body. As in, like, none.

Sigh. For a long time it had felt impossible, and I thought of it frequently at night while I was trying to go to sleep, with increasing anxiety but also ever-greater determination. I was the only one who could do it, and it had to get done.

The books were one of the bigger issues; you can see that those stacks are thick and tall, 
and all those ones in the background were just my mom's, and just from inside the apartment. 

The problem with the books was that Amazon is too expensive to use as a non-commercial seller now, and I quickly realised I didn't actually have time to be listing stuff online, taking photos, writing descriptions, packing it, and shipping it anyway. Plus, that takes time. People don't buy stuff within a couple of days of your posting it unless it's really cool, like that vintage hardcover Japanese edition of Le Petit Prince I brought from Tokyo and sold on Etsy. It was the only one anywhere on the Internet and I think it went within 24 hours.

So I sold some of these, but they just move too slow in person. What you see here was all the space I had to organise and put stuff from the Dragon Closet of Adult Responsibility Nightmares, at least until I had cleared enough boxes to use the tops of those remaining and the tiny amount of floor space in the unit itself.

Is this making you anxious? Good. I want everybody to understand why dashing my phone against the floor wasn't even the worst freak-out I had and why I was drinking so much lol. This is what I was doing almost every day, while trying to be cool with being away from Hannes and having virtually no money and trying not to fight with my mom.


Peak clutter was achieved at this point, when I got to all the Christmas stuff.
...Softly screaming...

But, okay, it did get done. I only made it to the furniture densely Tetrised into the very back of the unit right before Thanksgiving (and put my hand directly onto a crispy dead scorpion that disintegrated into mostly legs the moment I did, hello darkness my old friend) so I unfortunately ran out of time to sell that, but I went through everything
I re-packed and neatly labelled everything I want to keep, that I'll eventually pay to ship here a couple boxes at a time once I have money again. I separated out and organised stuff that was still worth selling and left it for my mom, and she's continued on with it. The furniture is still pending pickup, so minus that, I think between $800 and $850 has been made. That's pretty good considering the fact that the biggest pieces are still there, and that we couldn't have a garage sale because they aren't allowed in complexes like this. 

But, so, okay! 
What I promised was highlights from the endless mountains of buried treasure! 

I found this almost immediately and said, "Oh shit, hahah," out loud when I did.
A number of times I'd asked my mom to locate it once Angelique returned to the world of the living and started using social media again, after having effectively disappeared into the Cascadian wilderness for like three years. I'd taken it with me from Korea to Germany, hoping to hear from her, and then put it in a package of gifts to my mom with this angry frustrated note when I didn't, lol.

The thousands of photos were definitely a major highlight. When I sent this to Hannes he said, "Oh wow, that's a nice picture of you with Chris O'Dowd."

So. 80's. I remember saying, "Well, it doesn't get any more 80's than this!"

And holy shit was I wrong. Look at those blouses. Look at that computer!

And, wtf? Wow. Full-blown doppelgänger.
Or am I a time traveler?
No one will ever know.

Shortly after those last pics.. 
This card from my first Christmas, when I was just a gurgly, drooly, fat little lump.

But I got cool, like, immediately

Cool enough for large chiaroscuro portraits at the age of three

Here's my cousin trying to look cute for the camera while I clutch my juice box 
and stare into the void, plotting the destruction of this world at the age of four lol

Quintessential 90's kid stock photo

Ah yes, all the craft supplies.. This was near the beginning when my mom and I couldn't stop fighting, so I sat outside the front door on the landing to go through it all.

Nostalgia bomb. Every American kid had these or at least knows them. 
I vividly remember blueberry, green apple, and lemon just from looking at the package.

Oh god, an even bigger nostalgia bomb. This box was so big that it went to the recycling dumpster on one of my many trips over to it. Even though I of course saved the remaining contents I was so sad to toss it..

Testing all the markers because hey, some kid can still use the good ones.
They were in one of the many carloads that went to the Goodwill down the road.

Um. Holy fuck. Is this the coolest book ever or the coolest book ever?

Dinosaur Dream! Did anyone else have this? Oh, the illustrations are so beautiful.

You know what else is beautiful? The felt Pokémon finger puppets I made when I was like 11. They're stapled because I realised I was out of glue but still wanted to finish them. 
I sent this to NiQui and Rejon and was like, "10 points for whoever knows what the big red blob is!" Any idea? Look deep into your elementary school heart, the answer lies there between the Lunchables and GameBoy Color lol

-laughs foppishly-

Okay, okay: I just want you all to know that Faceless Galactic Terror Barbie waaaay predates Avatar. Just saying. (Also those stars and galaxies are glow-in-the-dark)

Fucking obviously I kept my Trapper Keepers

Ahhh keychains from the late 90's and early 2000's ahhhhhBackstreetBoysahhhhhh!

Merry belated Christmas! These photos and items are more or less chronological, 
so prepare for some major changes in my style and appearance..

"We are the weirdos, mister."
Look how creepy Erin was lmao

That time in middle school I Manic Panicked my hair purple and it instantly went this weird grey colour that I hated at the time but that would actually be really trendy now.. Also, this is the same cousin from the beach photo :3

Meteor Crater, which is actually legit impressive and worth a look if you're on a road trip, 
which my mom and I were at the time, during spring break.

My learners' permit, acquired during the J-rock / Visual Kei phase

And speaking of growing up and going to high school.. 
I also went through all of my school papers from my entire life toward the end of this 
monumental task. These are the dividers I used in my binder in high school.

This is early, from Mr. Dumitrache's world history class at Barry Goldwater when I was a freshman. Whenever Hannes mentions craving Spam I tell him it's just ears, lips, and assholes, lower than dog food, basically a joke, and a crappy excuse for a legacy left behind wherever American troops were stationed during WWII. (Seriously Hannes, these things are all true, don't eat that stuff)


From my first year of Spanish. Warm feels.

I changed high schools halfway through, from the poorest to the richest one in the area, to do this ridiculously hard program of college-level courses plus extracurricular sports plus community service after deciding I'd rather do that than drop out completely, because I thought it'd get me a scholarship. It didn't. That information was really difficult to find out at the time, and I trusted the adults around me. That was a mistake. Anyway, it was the best education you could get for free in Arizona and maybe the entire U.S., and that counts for something. This was what a typical day looked like. In addition to this I needed to pull a decent painting out of my butt once every two weeks. Oh, and TOK was a philosophy class. The guy who taught it, Angelique told me a few years later, ended up killing himself.

How did I ever do math, seriously.

Well - this is how. With increasingly elaborate doodles all over the place

Old paintings from my freshman year! Except for that unfinished one at the top that I threw away. And yes, that is the Linux penguin.

This is a Manet painting called The Porpoises that I copied for practice and never finished from around the same time.

Oh man, I still have this stencil I made after reading The Millennium Trilogy that I used to paint Lisbeth Salander onto my cybergoth sweater.

This one, though.. Err.. Didn't know I still had this one.. 
Clearly a one-time use kind of deal..

It was Cthulhu, if you're wondering. Used it to make a T-shirt for an ex.

Going back in time to mid-high school again, I dug up this Keith Haring tote.

Also this Totoro bag, made out of fabric scraps.
... Tote-o-ro. Tote. Tote-oro. Sorry, I'm done.

Oh man, right? This is clearly one of Crystal's. 
Why does Alex Atherton look so majestic pumping gas? lol

Also, here's Erika looking fabulous at her Labyrinth-themed quinceañera. I miss her.

And.. here's a random vinyl? How did I get this? Why do I have this?

Hrrrnnngggg movie box
Oh VHS collection, you are so good, so pure

I have a lot of good DVD's, too.

A friend and I were doing this "Oh-kaaaay!" thing at the time because we'd seen it in a funky Japanese fashion magazine, hahah. And yes that is my mom behind me screaming in abject terror.

That photo was from 2009, and so are these planner pages. I showed you a typical high school day of doing twice as much as normal, and here's an average college day of doing twice as much as normal. 

It didn't go that well, because the Japanese program was shit and they didn't actually teach anyone Japanese, so my grades in the composition and translation courses were poor. And then my last year I added Romanian to compensate, and because it was interesting.

I flipped through kanji vocab cards full of fairly useless and abstract terms before shaking my head and throwing them into the recycling bin. What a waste of time!

I have no idea where this vintage-style '12' girl came from and don't remember her at all.
But I did think all of this together looked like some kind of demonic summoning ritual lol

Aw, back to 2009 for a minute - Crystal made me this for my birthday.
I kept it, of course. I kept way too much stuff ._.

And finally, a compilation of some of my favourite photos and memories, mostly from college. Drunk sledding in Flagstaff, San Francisco with Darren, paying too much for parking, getting my passport, Angelique's son, the trip to New York.. And I could have sworn I took another photo of that little rolled thing on the top left but I guess not. It's got a felt picture of Sailormoon inside! Erin made it for me when we were in middle school. :3

... and of course, Big Willie Style.
What the hell mom lol why did you still have this

~The End~