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Saturday, 1.15.05: Week in Review

Saturday.  Maria came over to work on our proposal for the zoo video. We had a few laughs and still managed to pound out a nice proposal.

Sunday. I sold a carpet -- a nice big 8 x 12 that I've had since the early days of my first marriage. Put an ad in the paper. I loved that rug -- beautiful blues in an oriental design -- but it has been rolled up in the corner of the utility room for years because it won't fit anywhere. An artist buying her first house came by with her parents. I wanted a hundred for it but off course got talked into $90. Memo to self: ask for more than you want. Bleating that your price is "firm" just makes you sound rigid and insensitive. If I'd gone down from $125 to $100, they would have thought they were the bargainers of the year.

Monday. Ditto for the microscope I've been trying to sell on ebay. I swear I've seen similar brass 19th c. microscopes for sale upwards of $1000. We thought we'd be thrilled to get $500 and someone would think they were getting a deal, so I set the opening bid for $500. Dream on. No bites.

Tuesday. On the other hand, a couple of items we thought of as "junkers" attracted a lot of bidders and zoomed up to $56 and $86. We won't be buying a mansion on the profit, but that's the kind of transaction that keeps me excited about auctions.

Wednesday. I better start selling more stuff because the empty boxes I'm hoarding are crowding us out of the garage! After breakfast with a former colleague, I did my "cardio" by getting some of the junk in the garage reorganized. My goal is to be able to put my hands on something without having to move 5 other things to get to it!

Thursday. I was very excited because one of my 19th century photographs sold for $110. I spent some time researching the details and found out the photographer was Norwegian and so it turned out all the bidders were from Norway. Hands across the waters - I love it! Anyway, I called Maria and convinced her to come by and share a bottle of wine with me, under the pretense that I'd help her write up some minutes she was stuck on.

Friday. Now that my auctions are starting to close I'm spending a lot of time wrapping packages. We're lucky that the post office is only a short walk from here. This evening was very exciting: Jim had an old camera tucked away and it turned out to be a U.S. Navy periscope camera, used aboard a submarine in World War II. It seemed so rare we had no clue what it was worth. It took me quite a while to get the nerve up to auction it. I started the bidding at $95 and put on a "reserve" of $250 (i.e., if the bidding didn't go up to $250, I'd keep it and try again another day). It sat at $202 for days but tonight, as the auction was nearing its end, the bidding zoomed up to $510! Yippee!! What's interesting is that it is being purchased by the curator at Battleship Cove, "the world's largest collection of naval ships," in Massachusetts. It makes me feel really big time.

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Happiness (1998). Asks the question: why do people insist on thinking their secret perversities will make them happy?

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). Why didn't I remember that this was about as pessimistic as the one above? A classic though.

A Day Without a Mexican (2004). Asks the question: What would happen if all the Latinos in California suddenly disappeared? The message was a little heavy-handed but it was entertaining.


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