Thrift Store Fu

Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:09 pm
mutantenemy: (misc::gempunk)
Earlier this month a friend and I felt like treasure hunting. Cash was low, but our sense of adventure was high, so we decided to hit some of the local thrift marts to search of hidden and forgotten treasures.

My friend possesses fierce Thrift Store Fu. Every time he goes he finds jackets, pants, shirts, picture frames, and anything rustic that he can polish up into a new inventive creation. All of this for under $20.

I hate him.

Fortunately during our outing, some of his thrifty mo-jo rubbed off on me. Per usual he discovered cool little chests, a pair of Doc Marten boots, and a nifty bag. I was thrilled enough to find another men's down vest in black (men's vests have better, deeper, and more practical pockets), an old style taper candle holder, an actual Chinese to English/English to Chinese Dictionary from China (for 50 cents!), and then this beauty.

Behold.



That is a U.S. Navy / Marine Intermediate G-1 Flyer Jacket. All leather and in amazing condition. When I first saw it on the rack, I zipped right by it, not even registering on my radar as I was hardcore intent on finding a black leather jacket. Funny how the universe works, eh?

I was about ready to give up when a little voice in my head said, "Oooo, a brown jacket. You like brown." I do. Very vintage and steampunky. Okay, I'll give it a go. It was a men's 44 and I was sure it would be too big for me. Nope. It slipped onto my 5'11" just fine, thank you very much. And the style? Well, my friend and other customers could attest, I look damn good in a fighter pilot jacket. Like I was made for it.

The old street mission we were at was having a 50% off everything sale. For $12.50 I thought, what a steal, my first true leather jacket. Then, out of curiosity, I checked the label.



"That is a military issued label," said my friend. We gave the jacket a closer inspection and discovered air vents under the armpits and "USN" hole punched into the wind flap of the lapel. This was not some knock off or a Top Gun wannabe. This was legitimate. A pilot once owned this jacket.

Sold.

When I got it home I scowered the intertubz looking for any information I could find on the G-1 jacket. I checked out photos and labels. I learned that there were dozens of manufacturers over the decades that had military contracts to make these jackets. I also learned my label was missing one crucial element.

Every label shows four things:
Type of jacket
Military parts / BIN number
Company that made it
Year it was made

My label had everything but the year. After a few hours of investigative work, I deduced mine was mid-to-late 70's. Granted, not WWII era, but very cool nonetheless. I finally found a military antique expert on line and gave them pictures of my bomber jacket. They confirmed it was legit and that it was post Vietnam war era, circa 1975-1979. Maybe even as late as 1980.





I love that I found this find. I love that I cherishly wear a piece of history every day. Sometimes my thoughts wander to the previous owner. Why did he give up his jacket? There is no such thing as an ex-Marine, so why would he part with something that was an important part of him during his training / tour of duty?

I can only come to two conclusions:
1. It is a part of his life he truly wants to forget or wants to move on from.
2. He died.

I'm hoping for the former because it would be cool for a man to approach me someday and say, "Hey, I think that used to be mine. Oh, the stories I could tell!" And I would ask him to tell me.
mutantenemy: (charmed::fangirl)
March 31, 2010

The time is 4:30pm, two and a half hours before Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson Series, arrives at my local Powells Books. I come ready with knitting basket in hand, to knit and purl and ssk the minutes away while I wait. Patiently. Earnestly.

Strolling through the double doors, my eyes immediately fall upon vibrant book covers. Book covers with the titles, "SILVER BORNE" scrawled across them. I practically scream of pure geekdom within the stacks as I grab a copy and hug it like a precious, fluffy kitten. People stare. I blush. I suppose my suave decorum could only last for so long. Hey, I tried.

Fortunately, I was not alone. Huddled with the comfy chairs were other fans, some of whom I had seen last week for the Cherie Priest signing, and they were waving me over. We chatted, we knitted, and I kept my eagerness to dive into the new novel at bay. "When I get home, I'll start reading it," I promised myself.


At 6PM, Powells employees were setting the stage and unfolding the chairs. Because of our preparedness (or overzelousness, which ever you prefer), the early birds were able to snag the front row. Minutes ticked away as I counted the rows in my shawl pattern and searched in my bag for my measuring tape. I was curious as to how many people would show up. Every reading I've been to, the numbers have always been unpredictable. Twenty? Fifty? Five hundred? I also find it humbling and cool to peer upon the guest author's face as they survey the crowd, jaw a bit slacken, and say in awe, "Wow. There are so many of you here." Not once are they grumpy because not enough readers showed up, they are always surprised people actually like their books.

Patricia Briggs was no different. )
mutantenemy: (humour::take it to 11)
There are ebbs and flows, mountains and valleys, dry spells and monsoons in one's life, but it definitely correlates to my social life as of recently.

I am not one who needs company 24/7. I don't need to be in constant contact with anyone. I can be perfectly happy entertaining myself by going to the zoo on my own, knitting in a coffee shop, or checking out the latest Tim Burton flick-a-roo. Ever since I was a kid, playing in my room brought me the greatest satisfaction because I only had me and my imagination to keep me from getting bored.

However....this does not mean I am a lone wolf or despise human contact. Quite the contrary. The only thing human I despise is undiluted stupidity / ignorance / over-inflated sense of self-entitlement. In other words, to use one of Dean Winchester's favorite words, I stay the hell away from the douchebags.

I may be an independent person, but I am not 100% myself without my friends. My friends keep me sane, they remind me of how loved I am, and they help me get my groove on when needed. This past weekend was just that. After a long dry spell of social activities (seriously, tumbleweeds were rolling through my apartment), I was inundated with activities galore and reminded, yet again, that I love going out with my fellow freaks. )

Oh, Raptor!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 09:00 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::redhawk)
Ten days ago the Audubon Society of Portland sponsored their quite unique and quite fun Raptor Road Trip off of Sauvie Island. This was my second year attending and apparently word traveled fast from the previous year because over 1,600 people showed up for the day.

Originally I was planning on going with my friend Hedwig, but the way things turned out, I ended up going by myself. Honestly, I LOVED going on my own. No schedule to keep and I could stay for as long or as short as I wanted at each designated look-out point.

This year I was prepared as I had a traveler's mug full of coffee, my camera with extra batteries, light layers, hat/gloves/raincoat in the trunk, my Peterson's Hawk Guide, and a thermos of spicy, black bean soup which can coat your ribs and shoo away the chills. I was ready for anything the Oregon weather decided to dish out.

A local joke in the PNW is if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. Well, I waited five, ten, fifteen and the day still opted to be perfect. Clouds hung back along the horizon and gave us Raptor Watchers a lovely, hazy sky. There was no glare which would provide squinting, nor cement gray darkness to make it difficult to spot eagles and the like.

I drove over the Sauvie Island Bridge around 8:50am, ten minutes before the event started. I was excited about what I might see this year as last year was breath-taking with all the bald eagles, hawks, and falcons.

This year did NOT disappoint. )
mutantenemy: (Default)
Well, after almost a year of knitting caps, a prayer shawl, a cell phone cozy, and a plethora of charity blanket squares, I have ventured into new territory by making my friend this Yule gift. I present to you the Master of all Chaos!! )

I am very, very proud of how it turned out. So much so, I almost didn't give it to her last night at the Yule party. LOL!
mutantenemy: (craft::i have firebird wings)
By gosh, by golly, it has been a long-ass time since I've updated, hasn't it? Roughly two months of radio silence. Well, as the old year winds down today, I am making a personal goal to set a regular writing schedule. Not once a day, that would be too big of a bite for me to chew, especially with NaNoWriMo starting up in roughly 10 hours. But definitely more than what I've been doing.

So why has the fire-tressed Mutant been on hiatus all this time? No amazing reason. Honestly, I didn't feel like talking. I get that way sometimes because this age's need to have Real Time Information gets overwhelming for me. Though I haven't posted, I have commented here and there just to let folks know I haven't died. :)

For those who are interested, this is what Mutant has been doing with herself lately. )
mutantenemy: (mutant::animated gif)
I'm back.
I'm here.

Attended Northwest Fall Equinox and it was an extremely loving, powerful, releasing, and reaffirming festival I have attended in YEARS. So much so, my throat is all scratchy and coughy from all the mantra chanting and chatting-up I did for the past 4 days.

My F-List of entries is positively daunting. LOL! Two hours later and I'm still not all caught up, so if you want me to see anything of coolness or importance, let me know. :)

So while I get my bearings and simply relax today, I leave you with a photo from Mahakali's Temple which I helped erect and tend to all weekend long.



(Clickenzee to biggenzee)