A friend wants to shed a lifetime's accumulation of sh** so she can sell her big house and move to a two-bedroom condo on a golf course. No yard. Not much furniture. No need for closets full of paper bags, odd cooking supplies, and late-night impulse purchases from the Home Shopping Network. You know what I'm talking about, right? The sham-wow? Seventy-three sets of sheets for four beds? Your closets probably look the same. (My house does, pictured above. The sham-wow's in a cupboard.)
I have a friend with old records stacked all over her house. Hundreds of them. Probably thousands. She would like to get rid of them, but where to start? Who wants them? The volume of the collection is intimidating - there are enough black, round disks to build a tiny house in her back yard. What do you do with your vinyl treasures? Sell them one by one? Take them someplace and ask for a lump sum? Donate them?
My friend Eve recently texted me from a publisher's trade show in L.A. She was reporting on ridiculous event policy, which probably has its own hashtag. She took her re-usable cup to the trade show, but the coffee vendors wouldn't fill it. It was against their rules.
Due to this or that, I hadn't been at a Repair Café event in over a year. I figured that things might have changed a ton, but I was wrong. The volunteers were still happy, repairs were still getting made, and on this particular summer-like evening, the sun was still shining. Perfection. Whether your cause is keeping accumulated stuff out of the landfill, teaching bike repair or community service, the Repair Café offers a wonderful group of people dedicated to repairing rather than tossing.
Cuba has been forbidden fruit to Americans, and it's logical that we want to visit the isle. Many Americans have wanderlust, and the means to satisfy that urge. There are places all over the world that rely on tourist dollars to get by. Cuba is definitely one of those places. So, if you're (still) inclined to make the trek, let's talk about what you'll see and experience.
Considering a Cuba trip to keep up with the Obama family? There's good news if you are: Starwood is planning to manage two hotels
on the island. This means more flights to Cuba, and it's possible individuals will no longer need government approval before traveling. Even this week before Obama landed, it was announced that US banks can now accept / honor transactions made in Cuba. Progress!
Did you have a good V-day? Were jewelry, flowers, or dinner involved in your weekend? Or have you forgotten that Valentine's is even a thing? (OK, it's a Hallmark holiday.) Do you scoff at the idea of a mall-created, mass-produced frenzy of consumerism? I fall in the latter category, plus I hate hearts. And pink.
(It's a repeat for a reason - it's Halloween and you need a costume!)
I am putting this out there now so that you can start on Halloween 2014. This is NOT crazy! For those of us who lovelovelove Halloween, it's never too early. Plus, these ideas use salvage / scrap / trash. No purchased plastic crap from the store - that's boring! And you're not boring.
Does this happen to you? You go to pull out your recycling, and you notice the freakish amount of liquor bottles in the glass bin. You pause. You think about what the recycle guy (mine are guys) must think of you. You hope that instead of judging, they just wish you'd invite them to your next party. But you suspect they're judging.
Let's talk the straight poop about cleaning out a house in one fast and furious weekend. This oh-so-crappy task is one I have recently had to accomplish, and it sucks about 30 million times as much as you would imagine. There are services out there that will help you, but how do they stack up against each other? Has this question been keeping you awake at night? (Along with questions about the Greek debt crisis?) You're in luck. I have some insight, but only about the cleaning. The Greece situation is out of my wheelhouse.