Trying to get the desk cleared off--Dad's old desk--has involved going through a lot of junk, about half of it mine, and determining what could be thrown away and what couldn't.
It turns out that a lot of the stuff could be.
I stopped when I hit the box full of old RPG stuff of mine, which is the last box on the desk. I don't quite know what to do with it; it's full of papers from games played decades ago but I don't want to throw any of that away.
90% of the rest of the stuff on the desk, though, I threw away, because none of it is worth anything. Okay, the motorcycle helmet that I painted black? Gone. It's been hit many times, and dropped, and the black paint job I did on it was subpar. F it; I've got two motorcycle helmets of my own and Mrs. Fungus has a third. This one is superfluous, especially since whatever protective properties it might once have had are now long since departed.
This helmet was new sometime before 1980, making it a mere 35+ years old.
There was some collection of stuff in a box, in a very old grocery bag, and after puzzling over the contents for a little bit I recognized it as an art project assembled by my late sister sometime before 1980, now in pieces. It was tucked into two bowls, one made of smoked plexiglass with a crack in the bottom, the other an old crockery bowl which had been smashed and very poorly glued back together, with pieces missing. It was wrapped in something made of cloth so tattered as to be completely unidentifiable. Guess what I did with all that crap?
The crockery bowl had been my mother's favorite mixing bowl until it got dropped; after that it was never used again because HOLE IN THE F-ING SIDE and it was held together with Elmer's. There is no point to keeping this bowl or, in fact, anything that was with it in the box. I even threw the box away because it was water-damaged and the bottom was coming out.
So I took another large bag of garbage out of the basement tonight. Go, me! And the other nice thing is that I now have just one box to relocate, and then I can set up El-Hazard on that desk with the spare office chair in front of it. Presto, monk's cell!
There's still a long way to go down there, but I'm making progress, slow but sure. Every bag of trash I remove is a victory.
* * *
Other thing I found: a 3-ring binder full of sales training, stuff my Dad did in 1966. (I assume so, based on the date inside.) And the stuff in that binder is absolutely indistinguishable, but for format, from the sales training I had some 48 years later.
It reminds me of something my Dad pointed out: every time someone had an idea, it turned out to have been tried a decade or two prior, and either it fell by the wayside or it failed one way or another. There is nothing new under the sun.
That's kind of depressing, which is why I am concentrating on the fact that I managed to get rid of another bag of utter trash.
The hell of it is, most of the stuff I dumped isn't even mine. Lots of it was stuff Mom couldn't bear to throw away. I keep finding things she kept that I can't figure out why she kept them, and I remember her lamenting her inability to throw things away so well that I expect she'd be glad someone had the guts to toss this crud.
That binder of sales training--I'm going to get rid of it, too, because there is absolutely no point to keeping fifty year old sales training from a corporation that no longer exists solely because it belonged to my Dad, who's been dead for eight friggin' years.
But I have done enough for one night.