The Beast Coast

New York is different from California. This may come as a surprise to those of you who have only lived on one coast or the other, or (God forbid) any readers who got stuck living in-between (I’ve driven through your states twice now; I’m so sorry). They’re both big states, with lots of…trees…and they’ve both made me realize that I should look out the window more and see what they’ve got besides trees. But certain things feel like they’re a step away in a random direction; even the yard sales.

This past Saturday in New York, I overheard a guy talking about how he (his company?) recently had to pay a $200 million fine, in the same regretful tone that one might remark that they left their phone charger on the bus. “Aw gee,” I could imagine him shrugging, then giving the propeller on his beanie cap a twirl. “What a boo-boo I just did.” (And we don’t even live in the rich part of New York. We live in the cow part.) In Humboldt County—our home in California before moving back east—the only time you’d hear the word “million” was if someone was breaking the record for number of buds grown in a single field.

Another example. In California, I found some pretty adorable quilting-themed goods at an estate sale…

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You Tried

deformed-mugs

Someone was trying really hard to make something cool in pottery class. …To be fair, it’s not like I could’ve done any better. I wasted entire days in art class “trying to come up with an idea” so I wouldn’t have to actually art anything. I think I only passed because my teacher knew my mom.

FWIW, there’s a teapot that goes with them:

deformed-teapot

The best part is, you can have the entire set for only  forty goddamn American dollars. (They were originally priced at $10 each, until someone saw they were a set and decided to make it worse.)

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The Founding Brewers

president-coffee-mugs

Fun fact: As bad as that  is, it’s not even the creepiest vintage Abraham Lincoln mug we’ve featured on this site before.

Also seen in the back there is the rare “Thomas Jefferson coffee mug,” complete with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” quote and apparently worth $300*?! WAIT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. THE THING COST TWO DOLLARS AND I COULD’VE FLIPPED IT FOR THREE-HUNDO?!

brb, gotta go start knocking on some doors

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(*Actually, it looks like the one I found has red hair, not gray like the original Royal Doulton version. The Benjamin Franklin, too, has a blue kite sticking out of his ear, instead of a yellow kite floating next to him. I’m pretty sure these are generic knock-offs and I didn’t just pass on $1,200 worth of coffee mugs for $2 a pop.)

(At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Possible Malpractice

vesicare-solifenacin-coffee-mug

From the Internet:

Solifenacin [the generic name for VESIcare] is used to treat overactive bladder (a condition in which the bladder muscles contract uncontrollably and cause frequent urination).”

Maybe a coffee mug wasn’t the right promo gift for a drug that heals you from peeing too much. This is like the worst version of Gift of the Magi ever.

Guest Post: Antique Shopping

(This guest post was submitted by my GameCola co-collaborator and perhaps the world’s most famous Nancy Drew enthusiast, Michael Gray.)

Since Halloween is coming up, I thought it’d be a nice time to talk about yardsaling’s scary cousin: antique shopping.

You can see the family resemblance between antique shopping and yard sales. Both hobbies include sorting through piles of useless old junk that nobody wants anymore. But while yard sales are run by mostly normal people, antique malls are run by complete lunatics. In fact, if you’re ever at a yard sale where the sellers seem crazy, odds are that they’re just trying to impress the antique mall scouts.

You see, antique stores are just like the government. Everyone in charge is over fifty years old, and they have no idea how much things cost. For example, $50 for a Titanic VHS tape is a reasonable price at an antique store. On the other hand, something like an Xbox 360 game will go for two dollars, because the antiquers have no idea what to do with any products made in this century.

I recently visited an antique mall in Normal, Illinois. Conveniently located in a dead shopping center, this store contains proof that their town is poorly named.

This suit would either be a great Halloween costume, or the worst birthday present ever.

About $20 for the creepy salt and pepper shakers. I think the design for them was reused in Gnomeo and Juliet. Continue reading