Saturday, August 30, 2008

New York: IOU

I wanted my second post from New York to have pictures of my apartment-style dorm (the photo on the left is Madison Square Park and the MetLife tower, not my dorm!), but I haven't gotten around to taking the photos, and I have also been kind of busy. I had three interviews for internships, two of which were crappy, and the third of which I scored but then lost because of my hectic schedule. I'm kind of upset about that, because they were offering $15/hr. But it would have made my life hell to have that job and my other job (I was planning to work both), plus classes, music and the AAWA (I'm on the E-board :3).

So this is just a quick post to tide you over until I can prepare a feast of fabulous photos for your face. In fact, here's an interesting New York related article for you to read in the meantime: Secrets of a Hipster Hooker. Warning for content, language and sex talk. I thought it was really interesting, but of course I would never consider living that life for myself. The article is via iCiNG, which I'm really starting to love.

The girl who writes iCiNG, Gala, is from New Zealand and she spent some time in New York. Her enthusiasm for this place really makes me appreciate it more. I honestly think she has helped me change my attitude from the typical NYU state of mind - "Oh I'm going to a super rich school in New York and I'm so awesome I should never smile or be useful" - to my own pleasant state of mind - "I really like where I am, and I enjoy all these people being around me in this fantastic setting."

Thanks to IGoUGo for the photo. :)

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

New York: Settling In

As I sit here listening to the goodbye mix my friend L made me, I can't help missing my friends from back home in California. There are so many things here that I want to be able to share with them in person. For example, I know they would love the fact that I passed a restaurant called Teriyaki Boy this morning on my way to help the new freshmen move in. In fact, I wish any of my friends were here - CA or NYU - so I could be out exploring! Most people at NYU are moving in this week. It's nice having my mom here, but she is "elderly" (apparently this is the PC term?? she's not elderly though) and tires easily. However, I am very proud of her because she has made a lot of progress with her health and fitness since last time she was here, and we have done a lot of walking so far!

Today we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Turner exhibit. My mother remembered studying him in her college art history courses, and I recalled the name from the Rufus Wainwright song "The Art Teacher" (lyrics), which I love. So we saw it, and it was fascinating! My favorite was Fisherman at Sea. The moonlight caught my attention right away, and I love the movement of the waves under it. All of his paintings are captivating.

My roommate A is moving in tomorrow! But I have three internship interviews throughout the day, so who knows when I'll get to meet her. I spoke to her on the phone the other night, and it turns out she grinds her teeth at night like me! How awesome are we. Oh God.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

A New Day

SO! I'm moved in. It's great. I love it.

There are several sad things about being here, though. Primarily, I can't de-clutter. I am kind of disappointed in myself that I didn't finish the project over the summer. There were definitely times that I told myself, "I've been hanging out a lot with my friends. I love them so much, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!! Oh. Should I be de-cluttering?" As a matter of fact, there were a lot of times I told myself, "I'm sitting around doing nothing... I should probably be de-cluttering... but instead I want to watch this Schnappi video again." God I love Schnappi. Wo ist die Gabel?? (Where is the fork??) But that is all my own fault.

We did make a LOT of progress though. My friends agreed, and I hope you agree, from the few pictures you have seen! It was a great feeling to come home and not be angry at the horrible state of every room! I will definitely be continuing the project when I come home in December for winter break. I wanted to have my mother continue the project and update on the blog while I'm away, but she does not have a camera, and I don't think she would enjoy the project by herself. So our current situation will have to do until I return.

In the meantime, I am situated in my gorgeous 2-person studio in Gramercy Green at NYU. I think that I will continue writing for 13 Years of Clutter while I am in New York for the semester, but the topic will be on my adventures in New York! I looked at a couple of the student blogs for the Steinhardt School of blah blah and blah (it's seriously a super long name), which is where I will be declaring my minor in education this Fall. The blogs were very interesting, and it was totally like playing 6 degrees when I saw the links. (Ex: One of the bloggers is the roommate of my friend from high school who attends NYU.) I liked the idea of a blog related to NYU, since it is such a big dream school, and I know I love it. So I want to share. :)

Speaking of Gramercy, I have been getting a lot of referrals to 13YoC from Google searches about the dorm! Everyone is speculating and envying, so I hope my chronicles of this semester will help ease and also heighten the excitement. I really want to start doing vlogs, but my honest little angel side keeps reminding me that I got an official packet saying "NO FILMING IN HERE YOU NARCISSISTIC COLLEGE HO-BAGS," where HERE is Gramercy Green. Any ideas for creative alternatives to vlogs? Or any unabashed rule-breakers willing to convince me I'm above the law?

P.S. I do still have some content and links saved up for on-topic 13YoC posts, so look out for those too!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


For me, in this personal project, I like the visuals of my progress. The visuals really stimulate my anticipation of a clean and comfortable home. I'm so glad we have the before pictures (and even some afters now)! For other projects that I follow, I am surprised and glad to find that I have something in common emotionally with other "children of hoarders" for example. Before this whole project, I had no idea other people were experiencing the same thing I was.

Please share your thoughts through the poll and/or comments!

I am leaving for New York tomorrow night, but I'm trying to think of a video to film now and post once I arrive in the city. Any brainstorming ideas before Thursday night would be appreciated and credited. :) I'm aiming for simple shots with an expository voiceover, but what should it be about? Hmm...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bathroom Before and After

A very legit before and after post invites you to feast your eyes on it a mere few lines ahead! Unfortunately, the before pictures aren't very revealing. I thought it was interesting to realize that, when I was taking the before pictures, there were a lot of messy issues that didn't even register in my mind as important to document. We'll talk about that as we go, though. Now, here is our bathroom! Click the photos for larger versions (some are grainy, sorry).



It may not look like a lot has changed, but that's because I didn't take pictures of the inside of cabinets and drawers. I decided my reason is confidentiality, when in fact that is a lame reason and the real reason is forgetfulness.

Look closely at the linoleum behind the toilet. Notice how normal in cleanliness it looks? Prior to this it was absolutely caked with dust. 13 years' worth, I daresay. The main thing that prompted me to clean back there was actually pretty gross. I'll let you guess. If you need a hint: that area IS near the toilet...

This ridiculous cart was probably the thing that bothered me most. Why oh why were there FOUR bottles of mouthwash sitting there before? Overall, this cart is just annoying and tacky. I would much much prefer something like this Ikea cabinet, but I think it's a tad too big for the space. Oh yeah, the toothbrushes on the right are mine; I have three because I sometimes forget mine when I go to stay with friends, and they graciously provide me with toothbrushing tools.

You can see in this picture that our manager did some re-caulking of the shower tiles, but he didn't finish. He's kind of a bum. But hopefully he'll finish someday, and our shower will be beautiful.

Tada! Other changes that went down in this de-cluttering adventure: overhaul cleaning of entire floor (including blue rugs that my mom insists on using to cover the whole floor); moving my hamper from the bathroom to my closet; discarding an old radiator that was just wasting space; having our manager come over to fix the drippy faucet and messed up pipes; and clearing out the sink cabinet, medicine cabinet and cart and reorganizing the contents.

It feels nice to have a clean room in the house!

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Yard Sale

I am so glad that my grandmother suggested a yard sale at her home this summer! We would never have been able to do it at our apartments, and her yard/garage is a very nice, peaceful space. In fact, our customers kept commenting about it! We had our first sale last Saturday, but we only had 42 customers in 6 hours, and while my grandma and her husband (not my grandfather - long story sorta) made about $40, my mom and I only made $17!

So we tried again today, with cleverer advertising. My step-grandfather put out several signs on the street yesterday morning (last time my grandma insisted the signs not go out till the morning of). 83 customers and 6 hours later, my mom and I had $86 more for our collection, and my grandmother made $177! I did not take pictures today, because I was in a bad mood this morning (I woke up late). But here are some from last weekend! Click photos for larger versions (the ones with our faces don't get bigger cause I'm paranoid).

My mom setting up at 7:30 a.m.!

My childhood dresses. These didn't sell so well either day, I think because they're so out of date (they're from the 90s). After our sale today, we took all the leftover items to Goodwill.

Oddly enough, neither of these items sold! The doll house went from $40 to $20 and finally $15, but nobody wanted it. Just as well, since the roof was missing. I was in love with that table as a child, though! It is kinda crappy looking though, perhaps.

Some old dolls and Thomas the Tank Engine stuff in my rickety old bassinet. Hmm, funny that the pictures I have from last week represent a lot of stuff we did NOT sell! Trust me, though, we sold some good stuff. Today I sacrificed my PlayStation1 and all my games. We got $25 for it all from a young couple with a 3-month-old baby. They got a lot of stuff and there was some confusion with their transaction, but I do know for sure that they paid for the PS1!

High chair and baby dresses. These all sold, actually! Haha finally a good photo.

Some glassware and books. My grandmother had so much glassware; it didn't all sell, unfortunately.

That trapezoid just right of center is "The Music Maker," a harpsichord-like instrument that I tuned after it being out of use for 10 years! Everyone had fun giving it a try with the pick (included) that we set out next to it.

Me and some baby fashion.

This was such a satisfying endeavor, despite the frustration with my grandmother throughout and the occasional boredom. However, as my step-grandfather put it, yard sale customers sure are funny. They buy the craziest stuff, they're friendly, and they love to talk. They really made everything worthwhile! :) What a great relief to get some cash for our clutter!

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Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm so sorry to not be posting very much lately. I can assure you, it's not for lack of de-cluttering. Problems with our bathroom sink and plumbing gave me an excuse to clean out our bathroom, which was already the cleanest room in our house, even though it was pretty gross. Before and after pictures to come soon!

But before that...

I'm having a yard sale with my grandma, her husband, and my mom tomorrow at my grandma's house! We did one last weekend, but we didn't advertise, so the turnout wasn't great (42 people in 6 hours - I made a couple high scores on my phone's Diner Dash game, make no mistake). So we put out some ads for tomorrow and hope to sell everything! I took pictures last time and will take more tomorrow, so those will be coming forthwith! Dang that is an old fogey word.

Sorry to be all teasy and such and not even give a picture on this entry!

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