Day 32, the year actually starts

Yesterday afternoon I did something that wasn’t on any of my to-do lists except the vague one in the back of my head, the looming little thundercloud of “shit that gotta be done pretty soon but not yet.”

Tchotchke Central

Specifically, I started to sort all our little decorative tchotchkes and identify the ones for which we saved some kind of provenance record. The source was a big envelope labeled “art and decorative”, into which we’d tossed receipts and artists’ cards and brochures over the years. I was able to pair up a lot of objects with their receipts or other info. I was left with a dozen bits of paper that I couldn’t match to an object. I’m particularly intrigued by a receipt for an Inuit “Raven Fetish” in “dyed walrus ivory”. I don’t remember any such object.

In the picture, the seagull statue is by Ken Shutt, a sculptor who worked most of his career in Hawaii. Marian bought that sculpture when she was working for IBM in Honolulu in the 1960s. A nearly identical statue can be seen on EBay priced at $395. That one differs in two ways: one, the upper bird was broken off and re-glued; and two, its birds are bright white, where mine are about the color of my teeth. Say “cream” to be polite. I assume the yellow color is the result of the birds living with first one, then two cigarette smokers for thirty years. I’ve made a couple of tentative efforts to lighten this color, first with warm water and dish soap, then with warm water and a little ammonia. No result.

Anyway, at the end I have a dozen items I could price fairly accurately, from $40 to $500, and maybe 30 more objects that I can’t — but which are probably worth $1 to $10 or so. When I started the project I had the vague notion that I’d sell the items singly on EBay myself.

Then I got real: do I really want the job of creating 20 or 30 EBay listings, and then packing and shipping 20 or 30 packages, plus re-listing the ones that didn’t sell with lower reserves, etc. etc.? Seriously? How many hours would I spend on that and, if I paid myself $15/hour, would those sales even cover my time plus the packing materials?Nunh-uhn,  nope. So I left this project frustrated. 

Wednesday 1/2/2019

Started the day with a run. Well, actually, started the morning with a few minutes of anxiety, the “something undone” thing that’s been coming and going occasionally. It’s not bad; when I recognize it I can deal with it by taking deep breaths and thinking through my schedule for the day. But it’s annoying. (No, I am not interested in any chemical treatments.) So then the run. And spent some time looking up comparables for my tchotchke collection, then looking up listings for estate appraisers on Yelp. I think I will consult with my friend the realtor for a reference on that.

And then off to do stuff. First off, drive over to Stanford hoping to buy good seats for the now four relatives who want to attend the UCLA game on Sunday. I swung by the ticket office at the stadium Monday, saw it was closed, and went away without looking closer. Today also it was closed; grumping, I walked close up to read the notice in the window: closed for winter break, back on the 7th, buy tickets on Oh, sigh.

So I went back home and used gostanford to buy very ordinary seats in the upper sections because that was all the computer could sell. I am pretty sure that if I talked to a ticket agent directly, they’d have courtside and such that don’t show on the computer. So later in the day I sent an email to Amy Tucker, politely asking if she has any comps. Bet she comes through.

With the ticket issue tabled, I drove down to the Mountain View Community Center and found where they accept donated food. Left off my two bags of canned stuff from the pantry. Then on to FOPAL for 2-1/2 hours of sorting, and so home for a quiet evening.

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