Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Garage Progress

We've been working on the garage pretty steadily the last couple of nights; and finally today I got a chance to get some pictures in daylight. I think my photo-taking routine needs a little finessing, though, as I didn't get all the before shots for the afters, even though I marked spots on the floor so I'd get consistent views. I will learn as I go, I'm sure.

We actually moved some engines and transmissions and other VW parts last night, as a VW guy friend of Tara's called out of the blue looking for stuff. Could you come over right now? says Tara; Sure, says the friend. He brought his pickup truck. A very nice man, that friend. We'll call him J. He took a bunch of stuff, then gave us some money. And he wants to come back, too.

It's a little tricky with these pictures, as a lot of the stuff we got out of there last night was underneath the benches, and so is hard to see anyway. But it's gone, and hurrah! we were able to move one engine J didn't take sideways. It was from an old VW bus, and the 'mustache bar' (I am not making that up) was sticking out into the path. I don't know how many times we banged our ankles on that stupid thing. Actually, you can see it in the first picture below on the right, sticking out menacingly at ankle height. Evil.

We'll do an overview first with the panoramas. The first pictures in these sets are the ones from the other day, followed by today's picture. From by the stairs:

And from over by the breezeway door:

You can actually almost see that old Triumph now, which Tara tells me is a TR3A. In theory it once looked something like this, and, perhaps, in theory, might someday look like this again:

(Picture horked from the internet, and so I take no blame for the atrocious rubberstamp job on the right)

Most of what we did the other night was work on the southeast corner of the garage. As you can see in the pictures below, we went through the three low chests on the left, then got rid of the chests themselves. Tara then attacked (and I mean, seriously, like with an axe) the top bureau, the one with the mis-matched drawers in it. There may have been just a tetch of pent-up hostility with that thing; one of my father's favorite things to hoard was empty drawers, though oftentimes he'd just put them aside for future potential use (the best kind, according to a hoarder's brain) and so they'd take up all this space while being filled with air. So, we tend to hates them forever O yes precious we does O we does. It was certainly gratifying to watch Tara smash them up.

Smashy pictures first (I love those breaky noises!):

Then the b & a:

We think that TV, which was buried in the corner, may have been our grandmother's. It has genuine rabbit ears on it, and given its Sputnik design sensibilities I'm guessing it's from the 50s or so. The painting is my cousin's; it had been wedged between the south wall and the Triumph. It fit the newly opened space perfectly, though it's probably sideways, judging by the direction of the paint drips on it. Then again, it's Abstract Expressionism. Who can tell?

We got the boxes of books on the north wall moved up to the attic, which is a better place for them, and so opened up that bench a bit. Behold—the wall!

This corner is a little harder to make out, as there isn't really space, and it's dark. But we got some transmissions out of there, too:

This last one is another of the south wall; I didn't really get a before, but you can probably tell from one of the panoramas up top. We got two cabinets out of there and then they got the axe treatment (ask me some time about our ninth cousin thrice removed, the infamous Lizzie Borden, and no, I am not making that up either) and went smashy smashy!! So satisfying.

Overall, a lot of work. Of course walking around in there today it didn't look like much had changed; but that's what the pictures are for. Looking at them I can see some concrete progress, and that is a very good thing.


Tara said...

I love making those smashy smashy noises!

Anonymous said...

You're right, I could barely see that anything had been removed in the panoramic pictures because there is just layer upon layer of stuff. I could see it more in the details. I can see how the job would just be emotionally overwhelming. I think that smashing up the crap wooden furniture could be quite motivating!

Btw, I got here via TWOP, where you got a shout out.

One thing I'll like you to address in a post some time--your father maybe not so much with the VISIBLE car junk all over the yard, but I'm thinking of the hoard in the house as well as Bill Squibb (hoarders season 1) in Malden?? (it was north of Boston)--isn't there a certain degree to which hoarding is socially acceptable in New England culture? Quite frankly, a professor who doesn't have stacks of moldering papers in their office looks like a freak. I've seen home tours (you know, interior decorating porn) of professors or creative types in New England where they proudly have stacks of papers in the living room! "Yankee style" decorating is (per the magazines) a frigging unfinished barn full of "antique" junk that looks like it could gore you if you tripped on it. And waste not, want not!!! My childhood friend's parents packed their Victorians with books&records (culture!) and piles of stuff that was "still good" and "might be useful some day". People with clean, airy houses... well, there was something just so arriviste about that! Quick, sell them some "antiques" (broken sh*t from granny's hoarded up Cape Cod cottage--she won't miss it 'cuz she's in assisted living now). Real yankees wear the same clothes for 20 years until the moth holes are bigger than the shreds of the garment. Duh.

Thalia said...

I don't watch Hoarders and have never seen an episode; I don't have cable and, frankly, I imagine it would just enrage and frustrate me, so I'll skip it, thanks. And any way I've lived it, you know?

And eh, I don't know about that Yankee stuff. People are people, and that's probably more a stereotype than anything else. Sure, there are plenty of barns round here full of junk, and plenty of 'antique stores' that are really just hoards that other people pick through, but I don't know that it's any worse here than anywhere else. Then again I've never lived anywhere else so I wouldn't know, would I?

So I don't know. We New Englanders have a reputation as a frugal 'people', I suppose, and there are legends of say the box of string labelled 'pieces of string too short to save', but that's just an urban (or rural) legend probably. Scottish people have a reputation for being miserly; does that make it true?

The absent-minded professor with stacks of papers in the living room isn't confined to New England, either. Old England, actually, is what my brain comes up with for that.

If anything contributes to hoarding, or enables it, or makes it acceptable, it would be a cultural attitude of everybody minding their own business and refusing to intervene, even when there is clearly something wrong (a man's home being his castle and all. This also applies to neighbors, say, looking the other way when their neighbor beats his wife). I don't think that's restricted to New England, though.