Thursday, December 18, 2008

Missing Kansas City

Two days ago, I stayed the night in Kansas City on my way to visit my parents in southern Missouri. Despite being in town for less than twelve hours, and only going from Union Station to my sister's house, I realized how much I missed the city.

It wasn't the city -- the location, the buildings, the lights, the smell -- that I missed so much as my ideas and memories of the place. I miss knowing my way around. I miss having pride in my city and community. I miss feeling like I was making progress in my life. I miss feeling like I had some things figured out. I miss feeling freedom. I miss drinking to excess. I miss not having to worry about money. I miss loving a girlfriend. I miss friends I'd had since highschool.

Of course, nostalgia hits you in the heart, not the head: I don't miss frustration with work and discontent with my professional life. I don't miss different groups of friends not getting along and growing distant from my lover. I don't miss wasted time and bad decisions.

I have some good memories of and feelings toward my Chicago experience so far, but nothing like those of KC. I want to feel as fond of my new city as much as I do of my old one. Perhaps time is the only remedy for this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Bet Mine Was Better

Fox is going to adapt 9-year-old's book about talking to girls. How come no major studios picked up the book I wrote in 2nd grade about how to make a mustud and cheeze sandwich?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Adventures in Craigslisting, Part 7: Hard Bargains

This post is the long-overdue finale to my Adventures in Craigslisting. I might even call it the piece de resistance of the series. So, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

This tale starts not with me trying to sell my car, but with my once-and-previous roommate, Jaysix Usaustin, trying to sell our crap before moving out of our place in Kansas City.

We listed most of the major items in the Garage Sale section and then cross-posted into several other sections (furniture, electronics, etc.) and made it clear (I thought) that these were not all the items we had for sale and that they were not described in full detail because we had so many. At the end of each post we instructed the reader, if interested, to come by the sale and check the items out in person.

Immediately, we began to receive questions about specific items, how they looked and in what condition were they. To most of these questions I replied something like, "We have too many items to describe in detail. Please drop by and check them out for yourself."

Now, I understand the incredible power of communication over the internet, that information can nigh instantaneously be transmitted over vast distances without either sender or sendee ever leaving their chairs. But this is not the point of a rummage sale, now is it? The point of a rummage sale is to get up off your duff and scour through mounds of useless crap that your neighbor is trying to get rid of. The point is not to have him describe every item in detail to you before you think about checking it out. This would pretty much be a waste of everyone's time.

Well, this didn't sit well with one potential customer, but I'm getting ahead of myself. First, here is his initial inquiry:

From: [Collector]

I was wondering if you could tell me what games you have with the Sega Genisis? Do they all come with the cases and booklets that came with them? Is everything in good condition? Sorry for the questions I am actually a collector. Please let me know how much you would like for everything and for individual games.
Thank you

Seeing that I might have the opportunity to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff at once, I thought I'd forgo the usual "come check this crap our yourself" and give him enough details to say "Yes, I'll take it all." So, I replied:

From: [Mr McBastard]

The games are Sonic the Hedgehog 2, TMNT Tournament Fighters, Risk, and Herzog Zwei (all with original cases and instructions), and also Vectorman and Comix Zone (no cases).

I've kept the system in its original box. Everything worked the last time I played it, but that was nearly 10 years ago. I have not opened it up since then.

I'm really just trying to get rid of this stuff, so does $25 sound like a deal?

Also, I have a Playstation (complete system with original box) with games (no original cases) and a Nintendo 64 (unfortunately, no box, controllers, or games). Are you interested in either of those?

--[Mr McBastard]

If you give 'em an inch, the saying goes, they'll take your sanity. Collector had a favor to ask of me:

From: [Collector]

I hate to ask this but can you send me some pics of the Sega Genisis box so I can see the condition of it? That would really help me a lot. Could you send a pick of the N64 deck as well
Thank you

After having responding to dozens of pointless Craigslisters' questions over the previous weeks, I could see that this wasn't going anywhere. Also, I doubted that Collector really "hated to ask" me this favor; if he really hated to, I doubt he would have done it. Anyway, I reverted to my standard response:

From: [Mr McBastard]

I'm sorry, but we've got quite a few items, too many to take pictures of each one. If you're interested, please stop by the address listed in the posting and get a glimpse of it first-hand. Sorry again.

--[Mr McBastard]

Note: I really wasn't "sorry." Or "sorry again," for that matter.

He responded:

From: [Collector]

I just want to see the condition of the box and I will take it off your hands.

I concluded that this guy was just another time-waster. No real collector would just want to see a picture to determine the condition of the item they're collecting before they bought it. If he really did collect, he would get up off his ass and come to my house to look at it himself, to see what scratches, dents, and tears were there that a photograph wouldn't show. So, if this guy just needed to see a crappy picture of the box to determine the condition, I figured a crappy description would be just as good:

From: [Mr McBastard]

The box is in pretty good condition: a few minor scuffs on the surface and a little wear along the edges and corners. I'd say it's really good for being 15 years old.

I received his reply:

From: [Collector]

I need to see pics so I'm gonna pass thank you though.

Oh no! He wasn't going to buy my discarded crap unless I did everything he said! Who didn't see this one coming? Well, not to be out-douched, I sent him a reply:

From: [Mr McBastard]

You drive a hard bargain. Attached is a picture of the box.

--[Mr McBastard]

nutsack! photograph courtesy of Jaysix Usaustin

He was not pleased:

From: [Collector]

Dude you are a waste of flesh and my time. I will be removing your posting.

"A waste of flesh and my time?" Funny, I was thinking the same thing.

Circa Now