Only in L.A.Part of: LA , Seinfeld-esque
*Edit at end of post
Breakfast: chai soy latte and egg in a hole (this really good olive bread egg thing) from The Coral Tree in Brentwood.
*This was an e-mail my friend and I received that cracked me up. Yard sales are rarely dramatic or comedic, so I don't know why you'd want to make a film about them.
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 4:02 PM
Subject: yard sale
My name is Tom, I am working on an ultra low budget film about yard/garage sales. I was wondering if on sunday Feb. 1st we would be able to stop by your yardsale and film a scene. This would take less than an half hour, and we have a small crew and very little equiptment. We can't pay anything, but there a good chance we'll buy some stuff. Please let me know if you would be willing to have us and what time is good to come, i would really appreciate it!
2nd Assistant Director/Location Manager
*The Lawn Sale*
Hat: tweed from NYC street vendor
Jeans: Blue Cult
Shirt: v-neck Kelly green from H&M
Shoes: funky navy blue trainers with wedge heel
Sunglasses: tortoiseshell from a random store
“Let’s have our lawn sale on February 1st,” Stella said.
“Isn’t that Super Bowl Sunday?” I asked.
“Do you really think yard sale people will care? I’ve already gotten quite a few replies,” she said.
“I guess you’re right. Those people are hard core and it’ll be early.”
“We have to have it 2-5 p.m because I have to work.”
I didn’t want to get negative on her, but that was right around Super Bowl starting time. I kept my mouth shut. Didn’t people like to go to yard sales early, anyway? I prayed that our yard sale would be prosperous, then, chanted some on it. What was the prosperity mantra I had learned?
Sunday came--I wore my hair in braids, so I could wear my hat and sunglasses and look incognito. I didn’t want to be on film, but my garage sale partner, Stella, had organized the event and was the one moving. I either like a lot of attention or none, depending on my mood. Stella always liked a lot of attention—so she could steal the scene.
While we were setting up on the corner of her street, a pretty younger girl with blonde hair, a tad too much foundation, and two nose piercings (one above each nostril) came by.
“I know I’m early, but I wanted to check out your Levi jeans.”
“Oh, were you the one who sent the e-mail?”
Why was she lying? She had specifically said something in the e-mail about Levi jeans and there were jeans in our ad, but no mention of Levi’s. I guess she was feeling shy.
I stared at her nose rings—they were really studs. I used to have my nose pierced, but two piercings looked really weird. I wanted to give her unsolicited advice, but refrained. Suddenly we were swamped by people and it was only 1:30. See—yard sale people are very serious.
An older gray-haired man in a suit asked how much I was selling my CD’s for. I told him eight dollars for the popular ones.
“What? I can go down the street and buy them for that!” He studied them further. “These look like promotional CD’s; did you get them for free?”
“Why don’t you go down the street and buy them,” I dismissed him. It was the first sale where I started discriminating against people I didn’t like. I had researched prices, because I knew sellers would come and try to get them for cheap.
Stella was selling a lot, but her prices were really cheap. I was holding out—but I was mostly selling clothes, which aren’t too popular. When everyone cleared out, I checked out her shoe collection.
“I remember being 8 and buying a pair of shoes at a yard sale across from my grandmother’s house. My mom didn’t want me to buy them because she thinks used clothes and shoes are disgusting. I wanted them so badly—I probably cried, and then she bought them.”
“Used shoes can be gross. I’d never buy a used pair of sandals.”
I got goose pimples thinking about that—gross.”
“These shoes were in good condition. I wore them a lot, too,” I said.
Stella pointed to a short black shift dress, “I used to love that dress, but have held onto it for nostalgic reasons: I got arrested in that dress. “
“Oh, right—for causing a scene in a hardware store in Miami. So, I guess that was a winning performance. Too bad no one got that on tape.”
“Right?” Stella said.
A man in a white Mercedes pulled up. He and a woman popped out.
“I like this,” the woman said pointing to my candle holder and geode I got in Puerto Vallarta. “How much?”
It was the end of the day and I liked her. She was going back to Manhattan, “Five bucks.”
“It’s really nice.” It went perfectly with my old apartment’s décor and 1920’s architecture, but not my new one—the ski lodge.
She didn’t end up buying it, but I got rid of The Devil Wears Prada for five bucks. I wasn’t a fan of that book. Earlier I had quoted a woman seven dollars.
“Yeah, all of my friends have read it and I was just talking to someone about it.”
I nodded my head. I wasn’t going to lie and say how good it was. A grungy man with messy long hair came up. He was checking out Stella’s new age and self-help books.
“Do you guys think the end of the world will happen? Will we kill off earth?”
“Not in our lifetime, but maybe the next one,” Stella said.
“We are here to remind others we must take care of each other and nature. We’ve been through many lifetimes and what’s happening now is just so sad. The sky people are getting angered…” he held the Depeche Mode tape he had just bought and went more into his diatribe.
The New Yorker’s friend was in his running car, and I was cold. After another minute I said, “Okay, well thanks. It was nice talking to you.”
After he left, Stella said, “Thank God, you said that. What he was saying at first was normal, and then it was getting weird and he kept on talking.”
The lawn sale was a success, I made fifty bucks. The film crew never came.
Stella said, “Let’s do this again at my new place.”
BTW: I tried to give away my Alexi Murdoch EP, but no one wanted it.