Life, Liberty, and the Right To Keep Stuff

Is it possible that the number of vacuum cleaners, ovens, and coffeemakers have tripled in the past decade? Considering my parents bought new things when we couldn't find old ones, yes. But it means everyone else has been collecting multiples too.

This article from the New York Times Magazine takes a look at the storage industry and their clients, who use on storage as everything from a transitional service when being between homes, to being an excess garage letting them store what won't fit in their bedrooms and backyards. What was most interesting was how a storage industry spokeperson deemed the storage as downright American. Because with success, growth and freedom comes to liberty to have stuff.

I really think there’s a spirit that things will turn around,” Jim Chiswell, a Virginia-based consultant to the industry. “I believe that my children — and both my children are proving it already — they’re going to have more at the end of their lifetimes, and more success, than I’ve had. And so will their children. I don’t believe the destiny of this country as a beacon of freedom and hope is over. And I believe there will be more growth, and more people wanting to have things and collect things.

via New York Times Magazine.


Taiwanese Strings Attached

I unearthed more of the boxes my grandfather's from when he moved from Taiwan. He was the O.C.D. one who collected Whole Foods napkins and take out containers. I opened plastic bags within plastic bags to discover string. Twine, rope, red ribbon used to wrap food stuffs in Taiwan, it's crazy to imagine that he spent cash shipping these scrappy things across the Pacific. But they make for a colorful collection.


And Don't Forget To Floss

My dad had terrible teeth and now so do I. They're not Britain's Worst Teeth bad but I have a mouth full of metal and a gold crown. The Taiwanese dentist in Alhambra assured me that gold was more flexible than porcelain but I was concerned that I'd look like God of the Gamblers. Later on I was able to wow friends with it because what suburban valley girl has gold teeth? None.

My mom knew I had bad teeth but that's probably not why she collected toothbrushes. 

Check out the Princess Leia toothbrush! 

Experiments in Time Travel

I've been to many cities year. Hong Kong. Corpus Christi. Orlando. Venice. New York. Looking through my dad's pictures I see that he's also been to these places. We just missed each other by about four decades.

One of my favorite possessions is a picture of him feeding pigeons at Piazza San Marco, Venice. When I went with my mom five years ago, all I could think about was that we were standing where he once stood. We were marveling buildings and shooing pigeons just at different moments in time. I visited Venice again last fall and it should have occurred to me to replicate his photos frame by frame. Since most tourists take the same pictures anyway, I came pretty close.

It's not everyday that I go to Hiroshima or Rome. But now when I travel, I'm going to replicate my parents' photos.  

Time Travel Experiment #1: Washington Square Park, New York

Present: I visited New York in April, 2010. 
Past: My dad (far right) studied at NYU in the early 70's. Not sure who the couple is next to him.

Report: The fountain in the park was in the process of being relocated but otherwise the other landmarks were the mostly same. The streetlamp had been updated to a triple light and the apartment building behind the Arc still stood. 


We'll Load It Up Tomorrow I Promise

Found this sign in the Garage. It explains everything. 

I'm guessing it was a gift from my Texas aunt, who bought it from one of these sign trucks. 

One of my favorites was "Help! I have blood in my alcohol system." Taken in San Patricio, Texas in March.


Everyone seemed to love theme sweaters and the diamond ring sweater. Haven't started selling them yet,  still waiting for my dress form to arrive! But for now, here's detailed look at Panda Pockets, the cardigan.

I found pandas of varying sizes in the Garage. Like dragons or phoenixes pandas are super Chinese- which is why my mom kept bringing them home.

Butt panda!

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