Friday, October 24, 2008

Cassette Tapes Chock Full of Bad '80s Hair Metal Bands

Would you like to get a clear glimpse of teenage Stimey? Then read on.

CAUTION: Some of the links below may lead to sites that will start playing loud music. Proceed at your own risk. And how do all these bands still have current websites anyway?

When I left for college, I packed this box:


It was full of this:


I opened it today for the first time since I graduated from high school in 1991. Let me tell you, what a treasure trove.

This was the top layer of the box:


The first tapes I pulled out were Suicidal Tendencies. Oh, did that take me back. Next I pulled out some very old AC/DC, followed by a self-made tape that I had labeled "EVEN MORE DETH" referring, I assume, to Megadeth, a band that my high school self found very profound.

There was some Ratt, which is embarrassing, even for teenage Stimey.

Here is what I found in the next layer of tapes:


Yes, that is the soundtrack to Stand By Me that you see there sandwiched between Iron Maiden and Testament.

You will also see my extensive collection of Pat Benatar tapes. I had more Benatar albums, but those are on vinyl. I don't know where they are now.

Layer three of the box revealed these:


Frankly, I don't know that I ever really enjoyed the Cro-Mags or Voivod. I know that I did enjoy Tears for Fears.

There is a tape in there that a friend of mine made for me and labeled, "'Whatever you do, don't listen to this tape' tape". Done and done. Although, honestly, I'm willing to bet good money that the music on this tape is better than Voivod.

Also, check out the Best of '89. How can you miss with a cassette like that?

I found a bunch of tapes, mostly without cases, stuffed into the spaces on the side of the box. Here are those:


There are three tapes labeled "Radio 1987". I bet those are good. Especially the one with the pig sticker on it.

There was some weird stuff here. Like a MiniDisc that came with a Rolling Stone magazine once. I'm not sure why I kept it. Maybe I was waiting for the format to come back. Or to show up in the first place.

There were also some Metallica singles, which I assume that I purchased for the B-sides. I also found the soundtrack to Footloose, some Cyndi Lauper, and early Madonna.

Plus a tape that apparently contained the soundtrack to Top Gun and the gem that is "Lady in Red."

This is what was left on the bottom:


Somewhere in there is the first cassette tape I ever purchased. Go ahead, guess. Is it Jetboy? Is it Beverly Hills Cop II? Is it The Jerky Boys? Is it Belinda Carlisle or Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam?

There's no way I was respectable enough for it to be INXS.

It was Sports, by Huey Lewis and the News. I'm obviously not cool enough to know this, but I think that's embarrassing.

And that doesn't even count the Skid Row and White Lion.

I briefly thought about listening to some of the tapes, but quickly decided I couldn't stomach it. Because for every early AC/DC album or "All I wanted was a Pepsi!" there is the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid and "Lady in red...is dancing with me...cheek to cheek."

And I just am not ready to make that sort of auditory sacrifice.

I do specifically remember being a teenager and hoping I never turned into the kind of person who wouldn't listen to these tapes all the time. Sorry, Teenage Stimey. You turned into exactly the type of loser you were worried about.

My only decision now is what to do with the tapes. I kind of feel like I should just throw them away. Because, really, who wants my high school friend's straight-edge band's demo tape? Or Ratt?

And if I do Freecycle them or list them on Craigslist for free, isn't that just going to reflect badly on me when the person who picks them up rifles through them? Won't he (and you know it would be a he) make fun of me for years?

Suggestions and teasing welcome.

Total items: 187 tapes and 1 MiniDisc. Plus my dignity.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Changing of the Seasons

I've spent the past few days making the adjustment from summer to winter here. The seasons seemed to change overnight last week and suddenly it was too cold for tee-shirts and raking season was descending upon us.

Last Friday I took the opportunity to pack away our summer back porch toys: our sandbox, our buckets, our plastic sand utensils. I culled these toys earlier in the season, so there wasn't much to get rid of, but I did find a broken baseball tee; a Strawberry Shortcake ball that was split down the middle, and which I'd literally never seen before anyway; and a sippy cup that had lived in the dirt for a long time and therefore was unusable for human drinking (or pet drinking, for that matter).


Then, yesterday, I switched out shorts and tee-shirts for long pants and long-sleeved shirts. I got rid of six pairs of shorts, three pairs of pants that Quinn has outgrown, and two tee-shirts. There weren't more old Quinn tee-shirts because I'm holding on to them until I find out if he'll wear the new long-sleeved shirts I bought him today.


I'm also getting rid of the case to a Leapster game. I count it because pre-Pyramid, it's something I would have kept even though there is absolutely no reason to.

And you see the two-pound bag of Beggin' Strips that my dog doesn't think taste like bacon. Or anything else edible. She eats diapers, but not Beggin' Strips. What the hell? I'm giving those to the house/dog-sitters when they come by next week.

Total items: 16

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Catch Up

I haven't had a lot of time to write lately, but I have been doing some decluttering. Not a lot, but some. I'm hoping to have some more time soon to do some more intensive work, and to tackle some more general posts about things like seasonal clutter.

But for now, some bullet points on things I've gotten rid of recently.

• A portable bassinet I gave to a friend. (I have another one. Any local gals want it?)

• A plastic tricycle I donated to charity.

• 45 cinder blocks that Alex carefully stacked in our backyard for two years and then finally took to the dump. Yard clutter counts right? If I hear objections, I'll take 'em off my count.

• Assorted detritus from my desk, including a couple childproofing devices, three obsolete blank video tapes, and a couple other things that I think qualify more as plain trash instead of junk that has been decluttered.

Total items: 52

Coming Soon: A really fun journey into a box of tapes I've been moving around with me since high school. That'll be fun!

Also, Awww Clutter, give me your email address and I'll send you the code for The Count table.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Have a Great Kid. And Six Fewer Items.

There was a point not too long ago when I thoroughly went through my toys and left myself ONLY with toys my kids played with. Today when I did a deep clean of my basement I found five things that I couldn't part with before because they're great toys. Today I realized that they could better serve someone else.

My friend took all of these items (except for the necklace, which I threw out). She planned to keep three of them and donate two of them to a drive that her child's school is doing.

This batch is notable for a couple of reasons. First, that doll? Alex and I bought that doll in 2001 to teach our dogs about the baby who was coming soon. Now I just hope the little kid it ends up with is nicknamed "Sam", because that's what my Sam wrote on the baby's leg.

The other reason this batch is notable is because Sam caught me trying to sneak the stuff out of the house and was surprisingly cool about it. In fact, he saw that my friend and I were carrying the items out of the house and insisted on helping. And he didn't object at all, which is something he usually does at least for appearance's sake.

When he noticed that the baby doll was on its way out though, he did object. If this were a toy he played with more than once every six months, I would have agreed to take it back. But because he doesn't play with it, I launched into a speech about how we have lots of toys and the baby was going to go to a kid who doesn't have lots of toys.

Sam decided that was cool. That made me think Sam is cool.

Total items for the day: 6!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Eight

Nothing to see here, folks. Just another day of decluttering.


While cleaning my kids' room (I must not have been mad), this was all I found to get rid of. There's a book, a book jacket, some spare buttons, a Leapster cartridge box (but not the cartridge), an unopened package of nightlights, and a couple other things.

The big thing I'm getting rid of is Sam's science project from last year. It seemed wrong to get rid of it, but I did thoroughly document it, and I can't keep it forever, right?

Total items for today: 8