Saturday, December 31, 2011

Who's Ready To Party?

This guy is clearly dressed for the occasion. 
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The year's end is almost upon us. And when your clock strikes twelve and you toast to the possibilities of a new year with friends and loved ones, remember how your past has forged your present when you look to the future. 

I have learned a lot this past year. I have learned of my own resilience and strength. I have learned of my ability to overcome the physical pain of my chronic illness to experience the accomplished sense of pain after a strenuous workout....losing nearly 50 pounds in the process. I have learned that I can successfully operate my own blog without technical help and even gain a loyal following thanks to my enthusiastic readers. I have learned that money does not make the writer, though it would certainly help pay the bills to be published more often. I have learned that I'm actually a pretty decent photographer and aim to be more visually conceptual.  I have learned that procrastination is the devil and it is all too easy to just take a long nap and just do it "later." And I learned that I still have a lot to learn...about myself. 

With that said, I have developed three main goals for 2012 and beyond:
  1. Explore. Look for new possibilities for the blog,  in my freelance writing and aspiring photography career. Branch outward professionally and socially.  Meet new people. Travel new destinations. Document anything and everything that I find inspiring.  
  2. Be Invigorated. I've already added a punching bag, the elliptical, resistance training and power walking to my regular routine. What other athletics can I condition my body to accomplish? Mixed Martial Arts? Zumba? Mud runs for non-profit awareness? With nearly 50 pounds less of me already, I plan to cross-train into a healthy, toned body I can be proud to call my own.
  3. Stick to a Schedule. While not all things can fit into neat little time slots, much more can be accomplished with a game plan. Dedicate allotted time for exercise, reading, writing, photography, blogging and of course, thrifting...all miraculously revolving around the day job, of course. 
And there you have it, my list to live-by in the year 2012. Of course this will all start no later than January 2nd, as the actual holiday will be spent celebrating the mere arrival of this fresh, new start....with plenty of champagne.  So have fun. Stay safe. And make some goals of your own. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Great Christmas Wrap-Up

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Of course no Christmas tree would be complete without a garage sale sign ornament. I found this little wonder at the thrift store for 25 cents and couldn't help but chuckle at my extraordinary luck in discovering something secondhand, that features another secondhand activity that's just perfect for the tree. 

And after searching several thrifts for over a month I was able to find a bunch of useful thrifted gifts. Mostly cute and kitschy kitchenware, I amassed a pile of jars, serving dishes, plates, novelty spoons, salt 'n' pepper shakers and more. 

Naturally it didn't occur to me take photos of the goods to publish after the gifts were given until I had already wrapped them. Whoops. Well, she enjoyed them all the same. And  for the first time I ever I bought a gift certificate to our favorite thrift so that she can get a new couch. And given their hideous (yet strangely appealing) selection of furniture is so cheaply priced, I'm sure she'll have no problems finding that perfect 70's sofa. 

My Christmas? Well aside from gorging on the bounty of cookies, cakes and heavy holiday meals I must have been extra good this year. Seriously I could call this post the Great Christmas Un-Wrap, in thinking of the pile of presents waiting for me Sunday morning. Aside from the much-needed clothes and the lovely Marc Jacobs perfume, the gift cards and the always appreciated cash, I got something that I actually have to wait 'til the summer to enjoy..two tickets to see Roger Waters: The Wall ! ! ! 

Talk about Christmas in July! I can't wait to hear the seminal album from Pink But, back to the hear and now....

As you all know, I am something of a weirdo. I mean, anyone with such a fascination with the photographs of total strangers and the impulse to collect oddities must be a little...eccentric, let's say. My sister certainly knows this to be true. And judging by her Christmas gift this year, she isn't exactly dissuading me from the dark side. 

This is Mr. Marbles.
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And yes, I named him after the episode of Seinfeld when Jerry's freaked out by the ventriloquist's dummy in Kramer's apartment. Though I may have to rename him, given the difficulty of navigating the letter M without moving the lips. But if I do, by some miraculous feat, master the art of ventriloquism I'm taking  my act to the stage and calling it Jackie's Creepytime Theatre. I'll have a gallery of photos and found oddities, a band, crazy costume changes and finally, my ventriloquism debut. 

Of course you loyal readers, my small fandom of freaky finds, will get an invitation to this grand event, should it ever come to pass. In the meantime, I guess I better practice those tricky M's.  

I dare you to tell me you can see my lips moving. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What The Thrift!? An Army of Undead Dolls

Lately the 2nd Ave Value Store has been home to a veritable undead battalion of baby dolls. Planning to stage a coup at your child's next show and tell? You'll have no trouble recruiting a doll-at-arms here.

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What The Thrift!? is also linked to WTF? Tuesday at Sir Thrift A Lot. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What the Thrift!? The As Seen on TV Edition

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Remember these?

Now with "smooth butt-lifting design," this mock denim, pajama bottom monstrosity can be all yours for the low, low price of $39.95  But wait, there's more! If you visit the 2nd Avenue thrift store today, you'll find your very own genuine pair of the "hot, new fashion sensation" for just $5.

Did someone miss out on the 60-day money back guarantee?

I'm no Joan Rivers, but I do believe wearing leggings as pants is a fashion faux pas. Add the cotton-spandex blend and the fact that they're actually called Pajama Jeans... 

Well, let's just say that I truly doubt this secondhand seen-on-TV creation really is a "designer jean fit."


What the Thrift!? is also linked up with WTF? Tuesday! at Sir Thrift A Lot. Check it out! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Memories That Are Not My Own

I always had this theory that shopping secondhand was a bit like time travel. Previously owned goods have a history. When was it originally made? What purpose did it serve at the time? Who owned it? Finding the answers to these questions can mean forging a connection between the past and the present. Of course not every hideous vintage sweater or dusty ol' knick-knack has a magical story behind it. 

But every once in a while I'll come across something that does have a story. Something personal perhaps. Something that once had meaning but now, for reasons unknown are given away to the the donation bins of Goodwill. 

This is the story of Bill and Marge. 

Two days ago I found their photo album documenting a road trip they journeyed back in November of 1988. They collected post cards, tourist pamphlets and took photographs of the roads and natural surroundings on their way.

Hello from the highway!
Post card of The Appalachian and Blue Ridge.

A lovely post card that was never sent to Frank. 
 The Eastern Screech Owls of Shenandoah National Park.
Photograph of The Appalachian.
 The Ohio River through Otter Creek Park in Kentucky.
Marge reflects on the journey. 

There are pages and pages of post cards and nature shots of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Bill and Marge Echenhofer. I don't know them, nor will I ever likely meet them. I don't know how it came to be that their photo album made it to the shelves of Goodwill. I only know that I now own that album, a stock of memories that are not my own but somehow have come to make a connection across time, space and circumstance. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

What The Thrift!? The Knock-Off Doll Head Edition.

Welcome to the first installment of What The Thrift!? the Let's Go Thrifting full-coverage report on found oddities, knock-offs, strange sightings and all things thrift that just make you go, "huh?" 

We lucky offspring of the 80's remember the fanaticism surrounding Cabbage Patch dolls. Those cute-as-a-button faces and manageable manes of yarn were all the craze. Be it the questionable inclusion of Preemies that were plucked from the Xavier Roberts' patch a tad too early, or the rambunctious older lot of the Cabbage Patch Kids, those dolls were "adopted" right off the shelves quicker than you can say Child Protective Services. 

Yeah, you know the Cabbage Patch. But have you met... the "Foster Children?"

Don't want a disembodied knock-off Cabbage head? Oh but I bet you would...if you were guilted by the reminder that this cellophane-wrapped soul is in fact a "Foster Child." Though I suppose the company could have done worse and simply called their wares Bastard in a Box.     

What the thrift!? 


What the Thrift!? is also linking up with "WTF Tuesday" at Sir Thrift A Lot. Check it out!