Monday, April 25, 2011

Secondhand Wisdom: Politically Speaking

Good post over on Thrift Store Confidential about the proposed Michigan bill to require foster children who receive state funds to buy all their clothes at secondhand stores. I've been trying to articulate how I feel about this for a while, but this does a much better job than I've done. More.

And while I'm in the political sphere, here is a nifty game that explores the difficulties of losing one's job in this market. More.

What do you think of the proposed Michigan bill?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

By the Book

This weekend was a special edition of the San Francisco Public Library's Friends of the Library book sale. Usually they do a sale in the Fall, but this Spring marks their 50th Anniversary, so a special sale was had. 

The tactile sensation of running a hand across dozens of books while looking for ones that pique my interest is a nice Sunday all by itself. Still, the key part of Sundays at the Friends of the Library book sales is that it's $1 day. 

Excuse me while I say, "Woohoo!" 

Now then, where were we? Growing up, my mom's rule on garage sale/thrift store/antique mall books was anything that was $1 or under. We went to the library not infrequently and $1 books were not uncommon, so I was hardly book-deprived under this rule.

So Sunday I spent $21 to get 21 books: 
We will be hours of fun!

Only two of them were books I'd previously read. Of those, one was Pride and Prejudice, which I still can't believe wasn't on my shelf until today. I made my dear boyfriend (who also alphabetized my bookshelf this weekend!) confirm and reconfirm my astounding discovery that it was missing from the Austen books. So I think that was a good addition to the library. 

All in all, a nice day. 

Saturday was a smaller haul, which is probably good for my space issues anyway (still trying to figure out where I'm going to put the things I brought home from Missouri). 
I am sparkly!
This cute little sterling necklace with a yellow jeweled bead is definitely an unusual one. I'm not quite sure what to wear it with yet. Would black make it to bumblebee-y?

Though books were my first thrift store love, jewelry is quickly coming up to replace them, so this was a nice weekend of thrift thrills. Not quite ready for it to end though.

This post is a part of Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Mondays! Head on over there to check her out and to see all of the fun stuff thrifters got this weekend. 

What are your favorite things to nab at thrift stores? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fabulous and Favorite Finds: How I Became Stupid

I have just been home in Missouri for about a week, which, combined with my terminal laziness, will explain the absence of posts. My parents are antique dealers, and my sister is a talented young artist, so I can proudly say that I got quite a haul for next to nothing, unless you're going to count airfare. 

I will soon regale you with stories about "playing jewelry" in my parents' hidden cache of stuff and giggling over our embarrassment of art riches, I promise.* However, I'm always more than faintly sad after leaving home, and this particular time is the first time I've been back to Missouri in the Spring in 5 years (!), so it felt a little like leaving for the first time all over again. 

With that in mind, I was thinking about some of my favorite things to cheer me up, which led me to thinking about some of my favorite thrifted things. Not just the things that saved me money or made me look awesome, but things that were somehow important in my life, like How I Became Stupid

"Don't I look clever and headless?"
I found this book on the shelf at the Daly City Goodwill. It was sitting there, flaunting its sassy orange and black spine, proudly calling out the fact that it is a Penguin Book. I'm a sucker for satin or flat finishes on paperbacks, and this is a rough flat finish that had already picked up a casual coating of grime in its wrinkles. And then there's that title. 

It's a quirky (and invitingly slim) story about Antoine, a Paris academic who is desperate to become stupid because he believes he'll be happier that way. He tries everything he can dream or do, from alcoholism to playing the stock market. In the end, it is a clear-eyed novel with a sense of hope that is somewhat sneaky, but nevertheless intriguing. 

At this point, I have no idea what I paid for it, but likely $2.19. I've since picked up at least 3 more copies (there are 2 living on the bookshelf in the living room right now). And at most recent count, I've bullied 4 people into reading it. 

I'm not certain what it is that appeals to me so much, and I'm equally uncertain that anyone I've forced to read it feels the same way I do. Still, I feel about it the way I feel about songs that are fun to listen to, but don't necessarily suit my philosophies: It's nice to get to live for a little bit in a world I don't want to inhabit permanently. But in this case, Antoine goes ahead and lives out his own disturbed fantasy rather than just, in a completely hypothetical example, listening to a latter-day Fall Out Boy song. 

I also really love the end. And in a world of books that make me say, "It was ok, but I didn't like how it ended," that is something interesting and special indeed. 

*I also do not fail to recognize that I am 2 posts into a proposed 3 part series, which I will soon bring to a breathtaking close.**

**Breathtaking might be a bit generous. 

So, what are some of your important or favorite thrift store finds?
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