Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm unclean a libertine, and every time you vent your spleen I seem to lose the power of speech; you're slipping slowly from my reach.

Ok so I realize that when most people go shopping for gifts for other people they're not considering whether or not the gift recipient is a hoarder. They're just trying to be nice by taking time, effort, and money to get that person something nice. And I shouldn't be looking the gift pony in the mouth.

I overheard Mumsy on the phone with Loud Auntie the other day. Mum had just unearthed a stash of National Geographics (a stash I thought I hid pretty well, actually...) and said: "I really wish people would THINK before they go getting Mich magazine subscriptions!!"

A number of friends and relatives are quite fond of giving magazine subscriptions as Christmas and birthday gifts. If you are a hoarder, or if you know a hoarder, you know why this is a disastrous idea. Most people who read magazines and receive magazines in the mail are perfectly fine with reading the magazine once and then throwing it away.

I could probably build a decent sized house out of all the magazines currently in my possession.

Once in a blue moon (usually under the influence of some strong sedatives), I can pull myself together enough to go through the house and get rid of all the magazines, but ONLY if I'm taking them to the recycling center. I attempted, at one time, to keep a box out in the garage, right next to the spot where we dump all the newspapers. I told the fam that this new box was for magazines and junk mail, because there's a bin at the recycling center for that.

(Junk mail is a whole other problem--non profit organizations will insist upon sending me more address labels than anyone can possibly use, as well as personalized notepads, dream catchers, year planners, magnets, etc. etc. etc., and I am also incapable of throwing those away.)

So the recycling box was a good thing, I thought. I can handle it if we're recycling the magazines and the junk mail. It's the WASTE that upsets me most. Mum, Lil' Sis, and Stepdad all make fun of me relentlessly because I am obsessive about the recycling. (Our town only picks up the recycling once a month or less--generally we have to go to the recycling center and do it ourselves unless of course you want your garage to become completely overrun with empty plastic bottles and cat food cans.)

We're good about recycling plastic, aluminum, and glass. We're a bit lax with the cardboard, but that doesn't make me as crazy because it's mostly biodegradable. Sometimes I find Lil' Sis trying to sneak plastic bottles into her bin upstairs because she's too lazy to take it downstairs to the recycling bin, but usually she's pretty good with that because by now she and Mum are afraid of me.

But for some unfathomable reason, no one can seem to grasp the concept of the junk mail/magazine box. I even caught Mum a couple times tossing magazines and junk mail into the regular bin, the one in the kitchen that is THREE FEET AWAY from the box right outside the door. When I confronted her about it, she was all like "what the hell's the difference if I throw 3 things in the bin instead of recycling them??"


As cliche as I know it sounds, every little bit does in fact make a difference. And having lived in New Jersey for the past 30+ years, you'd think Mum would know exactly what kind of difference it makes.

See all those pleasant rolling green hills?
Yeah those are hills made of garbage.

You can see that from the New Jersey Turnpike, and after you drive past it your car will STINK for miles.

So I stash my magazines where Mum can't see them, with the intention of gathering them all up on the weekend when I do the recycling. Except I never remember them when I'm loading everything else into the Virus Pimp. Over time (as in months), the magazines pile up. I've got two whole shelves filled with National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discover, and National Audubon magazines. A while back I started sneaking the new issues into the office, to the little basket in the waiting area. There's like six months worth of them in there.

Big Sis#2 is usually the culprit, at least the last few years. This Christmas, she got Mum Us Weekly (I have no problem throwing those away for some reason) and me Nat Geo and Smithsonian (as opposed to Discover last year). I get the Audubons anyway because I donate to them. And Big Sis#2 is a hoarder, too!! She's worse than I am. She uses the bannisters of her stairs as a giant filing system for like four years' worth of mail. (It's brilliant and it makes me warm and fuzzy inside.) Considering that, one would think that Big Sis#2 would steer clear of things like magazines.

This morning, I forced a huge pile of magazines back under my desk at home, and blocked them from spilling out again by employing the use of my file boxes (milk crates--I have four of them, and they contain everything I've ever written, separated into colour-coded folders).

THIS WEEKEND I shall leave many many post-it notes reminding to me to empty the house of magazines!! Y'all may want to open the betting pools now. ;) I'd say there's a 5:1 chance of me not even noticing the post-its and forgetting all about the magazines for another two years.


  1. I think you need to get didgital copies of magazines!

    I too am a hoarder (of sorts) and I have a "no gift" policy so that no one buys me stuff I don't need, so I don't have to fight with myself about giving it away once I don't want it anymore! I go through magazines I have hoarded and save all the articles and pictures I want then throught out the rest then go back and eventually throw out most of the pages I wanted to save and then I realised I wasted a whole day. I love didgital info! (though that piles up too!)

    Glad to see you recycle! We need more people like you out there!

  2. Love the support for recycling! Conserving resources is more and more crucial with each passing year.

  3. Well, see, if you were a hoarder of post-it notes... no, let's not even explore that possibility.

  4. Those hills of garbage are absolutely sickening, somebody needs to seriously clean that up. I understand with the hoarding thing, it's kind of coincidental but I was cleaning out my room like five minutes ago and found tonnes of comics and soccer matchday programmes I've bee holding in there and not touching for the longest time! I guess we're one in the same haha. Great post as always Mich, a day Mich blogs is never a bad one!

  5. Ooh, Suldog beat me to the punch.

  6. I loled hardcore at the bottle + bum picture. Since I'm at work, I tried to cover it up by pretending to cough and ended up choking.

    My husband's sister hoards magazines too. I get her magazines a lot because I think it's funny.

    Love you!

  7. Glad to see some people are trying to maintain recycling and order. I think it's one of my pet peeves when I see apathy like that.

  8. The hills are alive with the sound of smasshhinnggg! haha, that is horrible though!! i hord fairy figurines :) I can;t stop collecting them!!! They're everywhere! haha xxx

  9. This totally sounds like me Mich! Seriously. I had like a trillion 'kerrang' mags from my earlier years that I was convinced would be worth something one day- highly unlikely. I also do this with newspapers e.g. I bought a newspaper when Obama was made president. (you get the idea) anyway what I really have been dying to tell you is.... I love your Placebo song quote. <3 this. :D xxxx

  10. That hill of horror, ooh I can almost smell it from here. Sickening. And this still goes on in Jersey? I'm not a hoarder at all. If I'm done with it, out it goes to the dustbin.

  11. Bizarre dream number 1,000,0000: wallpaper completely made out of magazine cutouts. Two of my friends have it, but their rooms are much larger then mine... IT LOOKS AWESOME.

  12. My dear Smaugy-chops, I think it's cute the way you hoard things and line your home like a giant dragon's lair! It would never work in my house, we live in a bloody matchbox! How cute is this?

    Recycling hasn't really caught on here in the 3rd world. It costs the country too much money and the gits in charge would rather embezzle that money for bigger cars and personal expenses. (Staff cars and 'party' funds!) I try as much as possible to reuse things like tin foil, plastic bottles and plastic packets and I compact my rubbish by flattening out boxes and things, so as not to use too many bin bags. I donate old magazines to the animal anti-cruelty and animal welfare shops. We know several people who make jam and cordials for extra cash and they get the benefit of all our glass jars and bottles! Mmm... homemade apricot jam and and lemonade! YUM!!! Good luck tackling those mags! :)

  13. There are some magazines that should be kept and some that should be binned. Good on you for being so good about recycling!

    The rugby fields down at St.Kilda are all built ontop of rubbish, and the current 'Tip' is quite euphemistically called a 'Landfill'. We all know what it's there for and what it will do. Probably fill in a bit more flat land to make another rugby field -.-;

    Sadly our recycling here isn't as nice as we make it out to be. NZ is one of the worst in the developed world, and all the shit that is collected gets shipped overseas since we simply don't have the facilities here to recycle it 'at home'. So not cool!

    I hope you're having a good week. Love you!


  14. I used to recycle a bit more, but my country started this weird glass one week, cardboard and stuff the next, and they wont accept it if you put one the wrong one so been slacking a bit on recycling.

  15. Baha. this post made me smile. The pictures are phenomenal! I, too, am a magazine hoarder... they take up most of my first bookshelf at home, though I've managed to keep them from consuming the second!

  16. I'm glad I'm not the only whose hometown is situated right next to a luxurious landfill. And I agree, it's all about the small things. Everything adds up. Next thing you know, you live beside a toxic fucking mountain.

  17. Lovely blog.

  18. i can soooo understand the magazine thing. i have stacks and stacks of certian fitness magazines i haven't even read yet but must keep because you know, one day i will read them, when i am "worthy" of them (and we all know what THAT means). Meanwhile they continue to build as they keep coming in and i can't bear to miss a single issue!

    Love the drawings, especially the pony!

    Much love to you, Dear Mich,

  19. I downloaded a bunch of your comics (not a stalker i swear, wanted to show them to ppl w/out anyone seeing the ed stuff) and I noticed that almost all of them are 600 pixels by 666.
    YOU, MADAM, are truly spectacular. xD


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.