Spague! 2013 and The Year in Nifty Acquisitions

It’s only February and things have already started going hinky. So I’m going to spam you with all of my 2013 Year In Review type blagging, relatively at once. And out of order too. So that’s going to happen…..


Okay. Now before we begin with the next subject, I think that I should make it plain that I have a really bad cold – or the Spague, I’m not quite sure. It’s not like I’ve been tested or anything. So, if I’m short, or angry, or tetchier than usual, that’s pretty much why. I’m not excusing my behaviour, no, no, no. There’s no excuse for that. I’m just explaining it.

I also want to say how I think it’s weird that when you get a cold at first, like in the first hours or whatnot you think you’re dying. Just. Ugh. But then after a few days, it’s old hat. As if you cannot remember a time when you could breathe freely through your nose, your facial tissue consumption was at a reasonable minimum, and your voice wasn’t that of a three-pack-a-day-for-forty-years smoker. Or when you weren’t taking mass quantities of fever reducing medications.

This segues nicely into this brief piece I’ll call:

The Year in Nifty Acquisitions                  

In the moments before the pilfer party officially began at my aunts house, I was privy to a look-see and given a stack of post-its with which to call ‘dibs’. On the dining room table were a bunch of random little tins and toiletry bags full of my Uncle John’s emergency supplies – nail files, first aid and etcetera. In one was a tiny little glass bottle marked ‘Empirin’, full of pills which promised to ease my fevers, aches and pains of the head and shoulder, and possibly cure the common cold. I should point out that it was upon acquiring said ‘Empirin’ that I developed this cold (or Spague). So…

Cures What Ails Ya

Cures What Ails Ya

‘Empirin’ is just another brand name for Aspirin, and in fact Aspirin itself was the Bayer-Pharmaceuticals brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, but it was a brand name that got too successful and they lost control over it. Therefore we now call all forms of acetylsalicylic acid ‘aspirin’, much to Bayer’s chagrin.
Don’t ever say that I don’t teach you things.

I also snagged me the World’s Coolest Wallet. After letting the wallet I’d had since high school (a hippy dippy hand woven number), disintegrate beyond all hope, I decided it was time. So, I did what any normal person would do – I scanned copies of my favorite Sandman images (mostly scenes from the Rook Parliament story Abel tells) with which I intended to make my own badass wallet out of scrap vinyl. But then of course, life happened, the wallet became yet another project put on hold, and so I just continued to use my old wallet, which at this point was just a suggestion of it’s former purpose, as it was now mostly wool fibres clung together with elastics secured around Library Cards.

So there I am this summer at the Davis Flea, browsing a stall, when lo, it appeared before me. The World’s Coolest Wallet. So naturally I leave without buying it. Only to regret it instantly, knowing that the hipster populace of Davis Square would be completely drawn to its amazing awesomeness and when the Flea opened up a week later, it would be gone. Of course, I go back the next week, unable to find it at the vendors stall amongst all the other vintage purses, clutches, wallets and handbags. Thinking it had vanished into some Tufts chumps’ kitsch collection, I began to turn away disappointed when I spy it, peaking out from another rack, waiting for me.

(See that bit right there? That's where all the blood went...)

(See that bit right there? That’s where all the blood went…)

And here it is. Note that it was never before used, clearly purchased as a souvenir upon some gringos’ trip to Belize some years ago. Note how it has no wear, with only some minor fading along the spine from sunlight exposure. Note the tooled depictions of the Al-tun- ha temples of human sacrifice, and be envious upon hearing that their bloodshed is depicted not only on the front, but on the back and inside as well. Note that the inside also contains many convenient zippered compartments, as well as a compact mirror for blinding my enemies.

wallet 2 sm

This year, I also acquired a heap of randomly awesome and kindhearted things from friends and co-workers of my Mum. I should say right now that Mum is a ‘federal employee’, basically in an opening-sorting-stamping-categorizing-whatever-of-the-mail capacity. This basically means that every time you send some douche-y, passive aggressive note, outright threat, or anything like that, the big bad gummint isn’t the one reading it or getting it. It’s a bunch of really nice people just trying to get by on minimum-to-just-above-minimum-wage who you are threatening or hurting. (Not that the gummint doesn’t take notice. These things get ‘handled’ by the proper authorities: you know, it being a federal offense and whatnot.) It should also be noted that every time something stupid happens, like federal employees getting a pay cut, it’s these people and never congress or the senate who take the hit. Whenever the government shuts down or there is some sort of federal emergency, these same people are expected to work without pay, their mortgages and rents be damned. And I think it should be known, for the record, that when congress retroactively paid wages to the people ‘laid off’ by this years shut down, they gave the money they were supposed to retroactively pay these federal employees to themselves. As a bonus. Because that’s just what congress needs, what with all their free health care and lucky-for-life wage situation: a bonus.

So this year, these same people who spent about three weeks forcibly unemployed and unable to pay their bills, donated a TON of yarn for my knitting hats for bald kids project. Seriously. Epic amounts. So much, in fact, that I’m also considering spreading out and knitting hats for more than just the brats. I may begin knitting hats for the homeless as well.

Some of Mum’s friends also sent me some interestingly amazing things like LPs, kick ass cameras (like an Ansco land camera and a Brownie Holiday), and some things even more surprising.

Which leads me to my next obnoxious entry: The Year In Music.

Until then.

Just a note – it turns out I didn’t have the Spague after all. It was SPARS. It was pretty awful – I was upwardly mobile one moment and flat on my back hallucinating the next (I hallucinated Patrick Stewart!) . I know what you’re thinking: “When did you get a chance to go to Space over the holidays? And you didn’t get vaccinated? Are you insane?” Well, you’re right. I was careless. I spent the holidays in the People’s Republic of Cambridge and as you may know, the PRC often borders Space Beijing, where SPARS is rampant this time of year. So even though I only passed through it briefly on the way to grandmother’s house, it was all I needed to contract the virus. It took a few weeks, a bottle of Tylenol and a few days of laryngitis but I’m over it.


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