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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fresh Starts

So, after my brief hiatus, brought on by a raging headache, depression, occasional nightmares and the inability to muster up the energy or the desire needed to put one foot in front of the other and move on with it I finally woke up with half a headache and moderately tired eyes, which, I think, can be attributed to the excessive amount of time I spend staring at a computer monitor playing Mahjong dimensions. Damn, that thing is amazing. I periodically rest my eyes by watching Wipeout!, reading and working on a needlepoint canvass of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Yeah, yeah, I KNOW. I yell at my kids for doing the exact same thing.

Anyway, I woke up early this morning and realized I could probably accomplish something before everyone else got up. My younger son crashed with a friend last night, which left the house amazingly quiet. I managed to get the entire top of my desk cleared off before anyone got up to start moaning that I was throwing away precious 18 month old Taco Bell receipts, so I felt pretty damn good. I also found my check book, a stapler, two watches and a brand new package of sticky notes. So it was a profitable morning.

It was SO profitable, I decided to tackle the mess I had on the dining room table. It wasn't bad and, not only that, it was, for the most part, my mess. Not quite two weeks ago I decided I was going to sell Avon. I wasn't sure I could say that without some sort of permission or one of those registered trademark things. Which I would be perfectly willing to use but my photo-shop skills aren't that good and, as I use a PC keyboard on a Mac, I have no freaking CLUE where to find the keys I need to do something like that without a LOT of effort. And then it occurred to me...I only have 2 or three readers anyway so I really don't see who's gonna object.

The only time I have readers, from various indicators like my e-mails and my periodic banning from other websites, is when I say something that someone from the website that introduced me to the Internet and taught me how to make Internet friends thinks is about them. Granted, at least THREE of the members of its (koffkoffMousePlanetkoffkoff) hierarchy think EVERYTHING is about them and, given those parameters it's kind of hard to deny that a blog about why I don't highlight my hair anymore isn't really some sort of scathing condemnation of their way of life and a serious act of passive aggression.

So I usually don't bother. Although I was once vilified because something I wrote about something else made a former friend think I was writing about her and the completely lousy thing she had done to me. I wasn't, but hey, if she was stuck with a guilty conscience for awhile I consider that a bonus and am MORE than happy to take credit for it. There's a name for that kind of luck, but I don't remember it at the moment. It'll come to me.

Now, this actually has a point. This experience is why I have no small amount of trepidation in trying to sell stuff. I spent a year trying to sell scrapbook crap. And I do mean crap. I was talked into trying it by this self-same guilty conscience ex-friend. No, no one held a gun to my head and made me sign up. I got a LOT of rosy stories about all the money she was making at home and hell, I'm as greedy as the next guy, I wanted more money too. Plus, if I signed up with her, she would win a free trip to some god forsaken place in Minnesota. Minneapolis, I think. It cost me almost $500 bucks to sign up and get a case of stuff I didn't see the use for and then every three months I had to submit at least $500 in sales. I didn't know that many people who went in for serious scrapbooking and the ones I knew that did had little use for this juggernaut of a company the the crap they sold via the time honored American scheme called the multi level marketing plan.

I must admit, I didn't like most of their shit myself. If you do this kind of thing well you have an iota of creativity. And anyone with even that much creativity doesn't need a kit, which is basically what this place was pedaling. Well, after a year of about 100 bucks worth of legitimate sales and close to $2500 in "stock" that I had purchased and shoved into a closet I didn't bother to send in my 5Th quarter order. I had received ZERO support from my up line or down line or clothesline or whatever the hell she was and every time I would contact her regarding some lame idea I had to get rid of this stuff (say a booth at my church's holiday fair or eBay) she was say "well, you know, the contract is very specific in how you can sell, you can't list on the Internet, I doubt anyone at your Church wants to buy your stuff and I've got to go pick up Blinkie at school, later, gator."

To top it off, she got dysentery or something and never even WENT to Green Bay or where ever it was.

I used to drive an hour and a half to go to her house and there were piles of this crap everywhere. I'm not Martha Stewart but was always a mess. So when I saw all of this Avon stuff all over my dining room table, I panicked. BTW, it cost me 10 bucks to sign up with Avon and get the starter kit. Just saying...

Anyway, I was trying to figure out how to squeeze even more storage into a too small apt and my eye suddenly fell on a cabinet at the end of the sofa. The hubster hauled this cabinet home several years ago when they were cleaning out his mother's house after her death. I said "what the hell did you bring THAT home for?" It doesn't match anything we have. It's sort of like an apothecary cabinet except the the little square drawers are double size. It LOOKS like two little drawers but it's really one drawer inside. Sort of like when the Beatles all went into the front doors of their modest little flats, all next door to each other in the opening of Help! and ended up inside the same mansion. I think it was "Help!", I seem to remember it being in color. But I digress.

This cabinet has been moved from place to place over the last seven years, it never fits and I never wanted it in the first place. But the hubster is a member of the "it wasn't nailed down so I took it" school of design and so it follows us around to this day. Well, it occurred to me that that cabinet would be perfect. Little drawers just the right size for catalogs and perfume samples and bags and sales slips and things. For the very FIRST time EVER the little cabinet would have an actually USE!

So I started cleaning out the drawers. Throughout the years we had pretty much used them to shove stuff in that we didn't want anyone to see or meant to go through later.

Apparently my mother-in-law used it for the same purpose. It took me five minutes to pry the top drawer open and get it out of the cabinet. The first 8 1/2 x 11 (yes, I measured it) drawer netted five years worth of ATM receipts, a St. Christopher's medal, my son's missing cell phone from two years ago, two boxes of checks from banks we don't use anymore, a 3 of diamonds Bicycle card (missing from one of the hubster's decks lo these many years), three extension cords, an AC adaptor, several matchbooks from the Thunderbird Hotel (the new Las Vegas Luxury Hotel), half a Christmas candy cane, three sets of unidentifiable keys, a padlock, a utility knife, a fistful of slot club cards, a (thankfully) empty roach motel and several pornographic DVDs, only one of which was mine (hey..."Debbie Does Dallas" is a CLASSIC. I bought it as an investment. Yeah, that's it, an investment...)

The second drawer was pretty much the same. No naughty movies but there was a headless Barbie so now I'm wondering where her head went and when is The Antiques Roadshow coming to the urban village and how much I can get for that DVD along with the headless Barbie? I have two drawers cleaned out and nicely organized with Avon catalogs and fragrance samples and I just pulled the third one, which seems to be mostly full of extension cords. So I won't have to worry about stumbling across any dead cats - my mother-in-law could be wonderful at times but sometimes I watch "Hoarders" and I think holy cow! That place looks like my MILs living room. There was a "Hoarders" marathon on last Monday, after two episodes I started cleaning the bedroom. Right before they found two many years dead cats at the bottom of the pile in that Alabama woman's living room. This kind of stuff worries me. Finding dead cats in my living room.

I never SAID it was logical. It just is. Thinking I have Bright's Disease isn't logical either. I don't even know what Bright's Disease IS. I read that Teddy Roosevelt's wife died from it, which is a shame on several levels. In the first place, it seems as if it should be something nice and non-threatening. Bright's Disease. Doesn't that sound pleasant? In the second place, if she had lived, perhaps Alice Roosevelt wouldn't have turned into such an insufferable brat. I know, I'm rather isolated in thinking that Alice Roosevelt could have used a good smack upside the head. Okay, I'm probably close to alone in knowing who Alice Roosevelt WAS. Point taken.

Although she probably used Avon, it's been around that long. Seriously. I settled on selling a product that elicits the response "oh right, that's the stuff my grandmother uses". Oh well, if I accomplish little else with this venture than finally getting that cabinet cleaned out and organized it will be time well spent.

KISMET! THAT'S what it is! When a whole bunch of little things that aren't related to each other come together and then something worthwhile shakes out. That egotist was convinced that my world revolved around her and no matter what I actually said if you only got out your Little Orphan Annie decoder ring you would realize I was really talking about HER. And she has a guilty conscience (one of the nicest things I can say about her) because she screwed me over and told people I was a liar, a drunk and, probably bi-polar. And then she had the hubster thrown out of a public lobby when she caught sight of him. She's SO guilty she's freaking out because I continue to exist.

Hmmmm. You don't suppose she'd buy some bubble bath from me, do you? Nah, I didn't think so either.

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