[These collectibles to be SACRIFICED for YOUR amusement!!!]
This has been a been a busy weekend. I had Friday off of work, but only so that I could drive Mariah “The Boss” (aka: me wife) to Portland, Oregon (it’s about an hour drive---depending on traffic), so that she could take her final “continuing education” class of the year and keep her optical license current! I drove her to the OHSU Wellness Center on the Waterfront in P-Town and dropped her off---then found I had about three hours to kill before her class was over and she needed to be retrieved. I decided…(shock!!!)…to go to a BOOK STORE! But not just ANY bookstore---I went to Powell’s Books on Burnside!
For those who don’t know it, Powell’s takes up an entire block in downtown Portland, is multiple stories high, and has SO MANY books, it would be impossible for one human to read them all. I would imagine it would take a TEAM of computer-enhanced cyborgs reading for YEARS to get through every book, zine, comic, pamphlet, periodical, etc., in this store---and even then they might not be able to finish, what with the whole “new books” thing happening on a daily basis…
As a survival strategy, I always set myself a very SPECIFIC limit for how much money I can spend when I’m in the store. THIS time, I avoided spending money on a shortbread cookie and a root beer so that I could focus on reading materials. I still went over my budget by about six dollars, but I feel pretty good about my restraint. I found an old, Robert Sheckley, hardback, short-story collection, a used copy of Jon Ronson’s THEM – Adventures with Extremists (about people like David Icke and Alex Jones), a collection of absurdist playright, Luigi Pirandello’s classic plays (including the epic Six Characters in Search of an Author), and (my only NEW purchase) Mike Allred and family’s Bug! The Adventures of Forager. Looking forward to reading ALL of these! (Get ready for the reviews---eventually…)
The next day---Saturday---I THOUGHT was going to be a “rest and relaxation” day, up until I was supposed to work at 4:30 P.M.----but NO! Our older daughter, Frankie, had different plans. At about 9:00 A.M. she called and told us about a video game show going on at the Cowlitz Expo Center (the event was officially called the “Cowlitz Gamers for Kids Expo 2019.”) Mariah and I got ready and followed Frank over to the Expo Center, where an estate sale was also happening. We stopped by the sale first, and Mariah found a cool sugar bowl, and Frankie found a Jayne doll (from Firefly) and a Darth Mall digital watch… I grabbed (for 50 cents) a copy of Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces (which I used to have, but lost---of course… I’m REALLY good at losing stuff. I’ve held a LOT of cool things in my hands over the course of my life---I’m just not good at keeping any of them. I’m more like a creek-bed than a reservoir. Stuff flows by me and I enjoy it, but it never stays with me for long!)
Anyway, after our short visit to the estate sale, we moseyed over to the Gamers event. They had video game tournaments going on, raffles, tons of vintage collectibles and retro gaming paraphernalia, a DJ playing a weird assortment of classic rock and novelty tunes, garments for sale, and other odds and ends. I was looking for a specific Tony Hawk game for Nintendo DS (which I used to own, but don’t have anymore---I still have the box for it), but nobody in the entire convention space had a copy of it---so I settled for a Lego Indiana Jones game (with THRILLING dog-chewed case action!) for four bucks, and I also spent five dollars on a handful of “collectible” trading card packs!
As most of you who’ve followed my rambling for any length of time know, I’ve loved trading cards since I was a KID!!! BUT---more on THOSE at the end of this entry, when I DESTROY the collectability of these ancient fetish objects!!! (Stick with me! We’re almost there…)
Then, once we’d satiated our GAMER LUST, Frankie took off for parts unknown, and Mariah and I went to try out a Mexican restaurant that we hadn’t eaten at in decades. (It was pretty good!) Next, we decided to go to our local Fred Meyer store and get a few supplies: a micro SD memory card (which was about the size of my fingernail!) for my Kindle (it’s been complaining to me for months that its memory was almost full), some packing tape (everyone needs packing tape), a new binder and some sheet covers (for housing and selling ART PRINTS---yard sale season is almost upon us!!!), a couple of pocket notebooks (so I can write while I’m at work without freaking people out too much), some snacks for Elise… And Mariah found a bunch of really cheap clay pots (which she took home and painted) for planting an indoor HERB garden (featuring plants that are all safe for cats to eat---because there is not even a tiny doubt in our minds that the cats WON'T climb up on the kitchen counter and eat her indoor herb garden as soon as they notice it’s there…)
After this---tired, hot, and all shopped out---Mariah and I headed home, where we intended to REST for a few hours before I had to head to work… BUT about this time I retrieved my phone (which I’d left home, accidently) only to discover that my Uncle Randy had been trying to contact me… Assuming it was BAD NEWS, I called him back---and he said he’d been over to one of the many local liquidator stores in town (this one called Prospector’s), and he noticed that they had a shelving unit out in front of the store where they were GIVING AWAY CDs!!! Randy grabbed four or five discs, including a hits collection by the bubblegum band, The Archies (they didn’t have any more of those by the time I got there), and he suggested that I drive over and check it out. He said they even had some of that “DJ shit.” (He meant this affectionately, of course.) I said that I liked DJ shit, and told him I’d go check it out…. And HOLY BALONEY! I am certainly glad that I did! I found 26 CDs (that’s 13-times-2, by the way) of Techno, Breakbeat, Jungle, Trip-Hop, Acid-Jazz, and similar music, all released or distributed by the Moonshine label, which was one of the PREMIER techno labels back when I was playing a lot of techno and electronic music at local bars in the 1990s! I love the Moonshine label, so I was shocked to find so many albums and collections there that I didn’t already own just sitting on the sidewalk looking for a home!!! THANK YOU, UNCLE RANDY!!!! (It says something about were I live that they couldn’t even GIVE AWAY music by performers like Keoki, Cirrus, AK1200, Uberzone, Frankie Bones, Crystal Method… These are classic, BIG NAME techno acts---and their CDs are just sitting there, waiting for somebody to come grab them!!!)
And HERE IT IS!!! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Watch me DESTROY the value of these items (as collectibles) by OPENING THEM and revealing the juicy nuggets of nostalgia inside!!! (Gasp!!!)
First Dinosaurs Attack! pack, Topps, 1988
Second Dinosaurs Attack! pack
Ghostbusters II pack, Topps, 1989
Cyndi Lauper pack, Topps, 1985 (!!!)
The bummer about the Cyndi Lauper pack (and it makes sense, considering the cards have been compressed together for over thirty years) is that some of the cards were stuck together a bit, meaning we had a little bit of damage to the images when I forced them apart! That’s okay. I’m not trying to sell these items for a million dollars, I just wanted to see what they looked like (and share the experience with you folks!) One of the stickers even CAME OFF the card, but I didn’t freak out---well, maybe a little---instead, I USED IT! I packing-taped it to the cover of one of my new pocket notebooks! Now, even though the pack of cards isn’t valuable AT ALL (it wasn’t really that valuable in the first place---I only paid $2.00 for the Lauper pack), my pocket notebook is TOTALLY RAD! And I’m cool with that!
Alright, enough prattle. Now I have to finish my Sunday chores, then go get ready for work! (Got to make enough dough to be able to buy more trading cards and books, if the opportunity arises!!) Later, skaters!!!
---Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!